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.
For more information, please contact:
Christopher de Bono, UNICEF Media, New York, Tel + 1 212 303 7984, E-mail: email@example.com
Patrick McCormick, UNICEF Media, New York, Tel + 1 212-326-7426, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
14 January 2010: UNICEF Executive Director Ann M. Veneman was interviewed by CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour about the Haiti earthquake and UNICEF's response.
'Amanpour: The Power of the Interview'
(external link, opens in a new window)
Earthquake in Haiti
Helping children find their families
Earthquake relief update
UNICEF and local volunteers protect children
Dominican hospital treats children
A young survivor speaks
Delivering supplies, saving lives
UNICEF steps up relief effort