UNICEF provides support to victims of Mt. Merapi and Mentawai natural disasters
JAKARTA, 28 October 2010 – Following this week’s double natural disasters caused by an earthquake in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province and the volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java, UNICEF is working closely with Government of Indonesia partners to provide emergency assistance for children.
Since Monday’s earthquake and subsequent high seas off the Mentawai islands and the unrelated eruption of Mount Merapi on Tuesday, government disaster management agencies have been leading efforts to meet the immediate needs of affected populations.
Following rapid assessments in the Merapi area, UNICEF is sending jerry cans, household hygiene kits and water storage bladders to meet the needs of up to 4,500 families displaced from their homes by the volcano.
In West Sumatra, UNICEF is sending 6,000 bed nets to protect families against malaria, following Monday night’s earthquake that caused the sea to rush into the Mentawai Islands, destroying homes in a highly malaria endemic area.
UNICEF is also working with the Indonesian Ministry of Health to ensure that breastfeeding mothers affected by the disasters are supported to continue caring for their infants and that donations of infant formula or other complementary foods are properly regulated to avoid risks to babies’ health.
Investments made by UNICEF and other UN agencies after the 2004 tsunami, that devastated the province of Aceh, have helped to strengthen Indonesia’s capacity to effectively manage sudden humanitarian crises.
For further information, please contact:
Lely Djuhari, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Indonesia,