EL SALVADOR, 10 November 2009 - UNICEF´s office in El Salvador has begun the first phase of humanitarian assistance to children affected by Tropical Storm Ida.
UNICEF is providing 85,000 liters of bottled water, 3,300 recreational kits for children, 140 school-in-a-box kits and 3,250 personal hygiene kits for the affected families as well as 140 hygiene kits for the shelters.
According to the latest official figures, 140 people have lost their lives, 42 of them children. In addition 14,000 people are affected, mostly families in situations of poverty and social vulnerability, living in precarious dwellings close to river banks and in zones prone to flooding.
So far over 2000 families have been evacuated to 123 shelters which have been set up in community centres, sports facilities and schools. The numbers are expected to grow as there are 5000 people in need of evacuation who refuse to leave their homes out of fear of losing what little belongings they have left.
The most affected departments are Verapaz, San Salvador, San Martin, La Libertad, La Paz and Cuscatlán. According to national authorities 355 mm of rainfall accumulated en the area of the San Vicente volcano, almost the same amount accumulated during four days of rain when Hurricane Stan made landfall here in 2005 leaving 74 deaths in its wake.
UNICEF El Salvador is requesting support from donor countries in order to continue helping children in need during a second phase of humanitarian assistance, which will begin once the affected families return home.
UNICEF video and high-resolution photography for media organizations is available at: http://www.thenewsmarket.com/unicef
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 is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
For more information please contact:
Tamar Hahn, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel +507 301 7485 / Cell 507 64302505
Karla Rodríguez, Communication Specialist, UNICEF El Salvador
Tel + 503 2252-8804 / Fax + 503 2252-8811