UNICEF supplies for children reaching earthquake affected counties in China
Beijing, 6 May 2013 –UNICEF support for children affected by the 7.0 magnitude Ya'an earthquake on 20 April are reaching the most heavily affected communities in south western Sichuan. Over the last several days obstetrical and neonatal medical equipment, mobile latrines, water quality testing kits and a range materials to set up Child Friendly Spaces to help children recover from the psycho-social stress of the disaster have been delivered to local partner institutions in affected counties and townships.
"Although we have ramped up significant additional support to the earthquake affected areas we are primarily augmenting and intensifying what we have already been doing in this part of Sichuan through our regular programmes," said Ms. Gillian Mellsop, UNICEF China Representative. "This earthquake created a lot of damage in a number of communities and we are receiving reports of many families living in tents and temporary shelters. Even as much of the quake damage is being quickly repaired children’s lives have been turned upside-down.”
UNICEF's obstetric and neonatal health care equipment is being distributed by the Sichuan Health Bureau to Lushan, Baoxing, Tianquan, Mingshan and Yucheng county health facilities. The equipment will help support the continuity of critical basic services for mothers and newborns that may have been compromised due to damaged buildings and infrastructure.
Water quality testing kits will play a crucial role in helping of Sichuan Provincial CDC to monitor the quality of drinking water at various points in the distributions network. These additional water quality testing kits will be used in Lushan, Tianquan and Baoxing counties, where local infrastructure sustained heavy damage.
UNICEF has also delivered 50 mobile latrines to support sanitation measures in areas where families are living in temporary shelters.
Large 72 square meter classroom tents, books, toys, sports kits and furniture to strengthen and expand a network of Child Friendly Spaces will today reach Lushan, Tianquan and Baoxing Counties. Currently Child Friendly Spaces set up by the Sichuan Working Committee on Children and Women are actively supporting children in Longmen and Qingren Townships and in Tianquan County. Plans are underway to establish two more Child Friendly Spaces.
“After the quake, parents are usually busy saving people, setting up tents and solving the problems of food and basic needs. They are often unable to pay as much attention to children as they need to,” said Yang Haiyu, UNICEF Child Protection Specialist in a recent interview. “…and everything they are familiar with has been changed. They urgently need psycho-social support that can be provided by their peers, parents, community volunteers and Child Friendly Space community workers.”
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