UNICEF provides immediate assistance to children near MT. Mayon
© UNICEF Philippines
Filipino children at an evacuation center
MANILA, 22 December 2009 — UNICEF has provided about Php 4,715,630 million in supplies to address the urgent needs of children and their families affected by the impending eruption of the Mayon Volcano, by providing water kits to ensure clean and safe water, as well as essential medical supplies. UNICEF responded within 48 hours of the official request made by Governor Joey Sarte Salceda.
UNICEF expressed great concern over the growing number of children and families affected by the heightened activity of Mt. Mayon, which now is hoisted to alert level 4. Data from the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) revealed over 40,000 people have been relocated to around 24 evacuation centers.
“Our hearts go out to the thousands of children and families who have been affected by the eruption and are now spending their Christmas in an evacuation centre. We are relieved that there so far have been no casualties as a result of the Government preparedness strategy. ” Vanessa Tobin, UNICEF Representative, said.
Of the 24 evacuation centers, 20 are schools while another 53 schools are located within the 16 villages that are in the danger zone.
“UNICEF is concerned for the more than 24,000 children who have so far had their classes disrupted. We are therefore supporting the government by providing school tents and school packs to ensure that classes resume after the Christmas break, despite the emergency situation,” Ma. Lourdes de Vera-Mateo, Chief of UNICEF Philippines’ Education Section, said.
Included in the water kits are collapsible water containers, buckets, soap and water purification tablets and communication materials on hygiene. The medical kits include essential medicines and supplies such as oral rehydration salts, syringes, tetracycline eye ointment, paracetamol, amoxicillin, zinc, iron, among others.
UNICEF will continue to monitor the situation in constant coordination with the government and other humanitarian agencies.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF has been operating in the Philippines for 60 years working for health and education of children and protection of their rights. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information please contact:
Marge Francia, UNICEF Philippines,
Tel + 632 9010173 / + 632 917.858.9447,
Angela Travis, UNICEF Philippines,
Tel + 632 901 0177 / + 632 917 867 8366,