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UNICEF delivers warm clothing kits to children in high-altitude villages and tented camps

Islamabad, December 8 -- With the freezing temperatures of the northern Pakistan winter now producing snow across a large swathe in the mountains above 5000 feet, the need to deliver items to help earthquake-affected families who remain in the high altitude villages is critical.

Children living above the snowline are at particular risk from acute respiratory infections in any winter season, and keeping them warm and dry in the coming months is crucial.

UNICEF started delivering the first batch of over 50,000 warm clothing kits specially packed in 4 sizes for children, each kit containing a padded jacket, a hat or shawl, socks and snow boots. Over 100,000 more kits with a unit cost of US $20.00 each are on the way. 

UNICEF Representative Omar Abdi said, “The needs of the affected populations are huge and urgent - and nothing is more urgent than providing now for children’s health and well being, since children are extremely vulnerable at times like these.”

Deliveries to the most remote locations have been prioritized so that the items arrive before the roads are blocked by snowfall. They are being distributed by partner NGOs such as the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP). In the last few days NRSP has been targeting the hill villages set above 7000 feet on the steep slopes of the Jehlum River valley in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

In Sudhan Gali which lies at an altitude of 7,500 ft. in Bagh district, 14,500 kits have been handed out during the last three days. Another 5,400 kits are being distributed in another high area called Topi. Children in these areas can be seen wearing their new clothes, brightly-coloured boots on their feet.

In the tented villages at valley level in Kashmir and North West Frontier Province (NWFP) where some 170,000 people made homeless by the quake are now living, UNICEF is distributing kits to help survivor families with their hygiene needs. These are designed to decrease the risk of communicable disease resulting from inadequate sanitation and crowded conditions.

Women volunteers are distributing the sets of items, handing out a blue cotton carrier bag to all women in the tents. Inside there are toothbrushes and toothpaste, towels, soap, nail-clippers, cotton gauze and sanitary products.

The volunteers give a personal hygiene lesson as they demonstrate the kit contents, showing how the nail clippers are used and talking about keeping teeth clean and using the soap to wash hands after defecation and before eating. Thousands of these kits, each costing about US $11 are now being distributed, out of a bulk order of 150,000.

The combined price tag for these deliveries of warm clothing and hygiene kits is nearly US $5 million. For the key sectors of shelter, water and sanitation, health and education, UNICEF supplies worth US $ 28 million have been delivered or are in the pipe-line.

This procurement has drawn on funds raised in response to the Earthquake Emergency Flash Appeal, comprising donations from governments and from the general public through UNICEF National Committees. To date UNICEF has received US $61 million or 66 percent of the amount requested under the UN appeal.

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For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 157 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor 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 is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments

For further information please contact:

Julia Spry-Leverton: 0300-500-2595
A Sami Malik: 0300-855-6654
M.A Fahim: 0300-9505226

Please also see Pakistan Country Office Website:
www.unicef.org/pakistan


 

 

 

Video

9 December 2005:
UNICEF correspondent Kun Li reports on the distribution of winter clothing to children affected by the earthquake in Pakistan.

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9 December 2005:
UNICEF Programme Officer in Muzaffarabad Claudia Hudspeth talks about the challenges of getting emergency supplies to quake-ravaged Pakistan.

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Audio

7 December 2005:
UNICEF Health Officer Dr. Mirza Imran Raza describes his team's efforts to immunize children against measles and to prepare the tent camps for winter.

7 December 2005:
Fifteen-year old Omama Faroog, who lives in Muzafarrabad, describes her experiences during October's massive earthquake in Pakistan and life after the quake.

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