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UNICEF concerned for children and families affected by the earthquake in Haiti

STATEMENT

Ann M. Veneman
Executive Director
United Nations Children's Fund

NEW YORK, 13 January 2010 - We are saddened to learn of the devastating earthquake in Haiti. While communications are extremely difficult and accurate information is still scarce, it is clear that the consequences are severe and many children are among the victims. Our hearts go out to the families whose lives have been so terribly impacted by this tragedy.

Early news reports indicate that schools have collapsed, homes destroyed, and hospitals overwhelmed by the large numbers of injured coming in for medical assistance.

UNICEF is deploying necessary supplies to Jacmel and Port-au-Prince as quickly as possible to assist with recovery efforts including clean water and sanitation, therapeutic foods, medical supplies and temporary shelter. We will also be focusing on children who have become separated from their families to protect them from harm or exploitation.

Expert estimates suggest that 46 per cent of Haiti’s nearly 10 million people are under 18 years of age. The special needs of children for food, shelter and protection, must be factored in at the very outset of relief efforts and UNICEF will do everything in its power to make sure these needs are met.

We are also greatly concerned for our colleagues from the United Nations mission, MINUSTAH, many of whom are still missing.

Preliminary reports indicate that the majority of UNICEF staff in Haiti are accounted for. But we are still trying to get in touch with some of our staff.

UNICEF premises in Port-au-Prince are badly damaged and our communications facilities have been destroyed.

..............................................................................................

Haiti Earthquake 2010
On 12 January 2010, a 7.3 earthquake - the most powerful to hit Haiti in a 100 years - struck shortly before 5 p.m. and was centered about (15 kilometers) southwest of Port-au-Prince. The epicenter was in Carrefour and the affected area is the West Province. The quake was quickly followed by several strong aftershocks from 5.9 to 5.0 magnitude. Initial assessments suggest that at least one in 3 people in Haiti are affected by the disaster.

§ Haiti and her people

§ About the earthquake

For more information, please contact:

Christopher de Bono
UNICEF Media, New York
Tel + 1 212 303 7984, E-mail: cdebono@unicef.org

Patrick McCormick
UNICEF Media, New York
Tel + 1 212-326-7426, E-mail: pmccormick@unicef.org

 

 

 

 

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13 January 2010:
Ann M Veneman speaks about Haiti's earthquake
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