George Harrison Fund for UNICEF
24 October 2005
NEW YORK/LOS ANGELES, October 24, 2005 – Last week, at the documentary gala screening of Apple Films Inc. “The Concert for Bangladesh Revisited with George Harrison and Friends” to celebrate the launch of the DVD and CD, Olivia Harrison announced The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF.
The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF is a joint undertaking between the Harrison family and the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to support UNICEF programs that provide lifesaving assistance to children caught in humanitarian emergencies. In the tradition established by George Harrison and Ravi Shankar, The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF will continue to support UNICEF programs in Bangladesh while expanding its influence to include other countries in crisis where children are at risk.
In emergencies, UNICEF’s priority is to ensure the immediate care and protection for the most disadvantaged children: victims of war, disasters, extreme poverty, all forms of violence and exploitation. As with Bangladesh in the 1970s, many of these emergencies are still virtually ignored by the media and critically underfunded.
Earlier this year, UNICEF appealed for more than $750 million to help millions of children struggling to survive conflicts and other emergencies in countries around the world such as the continuing conflict in Democratic Republic of Congo, which has taken the lives of over 3 million people in just five years, and the crisis in northern Uganda, which is one of the worst emergencies facing children anywhere.
During emergencies, children are especially vulnerable to disease, malnutrition and violence. Nearly half of the 3.6 million people killed in conflict during the 1990s (45 per cent) were children. Millions more children were seriously injured or permanently disabled, or endured sexual violence, trauma, hunger and disease. Around 20 million children were forced from their homes and communities by conflict.
In all emergencies, UNICEF focuses firstly on the survival of the children, which means providing health care, water and sanitation and adequate nutrition. UNICEF is also there to bring immediate protection to children who have been abandoned or separated from their families, enrolled in army or rebel groups or otherwise exploited and abused. UNICEF also helps children recover from the psychological distress associated with emergencies, a key component of which is getting children back to school as soon as possible. In schools, children are also in easier reach of health care, food, water and sanitation.
For further information, about The George Harrison Fund for UNICEF, please visit www.georgeharrisonfundforunicef.org
Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children in 157 countries through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. For more information about UNICEF or to make a donation, please visit www.unicefusa.org or call +1-800-4UNICEF.