UNICEF Pacific is Mobilising US$ 200,000 for Supplies and Assistance to Samoa and Tonga
SUVA, 1 October 2009 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Pacific office based in Suva is sending a team to Samoa and Tonga to assist with a rapid assessment and focus on the needs of children and their families who have been affected by the tsunami that hit the Pacific region on 29 September. UNICEF Pacific is also offering its assistance to American Samoa.
American Samoa, Samoa and Tonga were hit by the tsunami early in the morning following an 8.3 magnitude earthquake striking off the coast of Samoa. The confirmed number of fatalities in the three countries has exceeded 150. Tens of thousands have been affected and there are reports of entire villages having been destroyed by the tsunami.
UNICEF Pacific is mobilising up to US$ 200,000 to send urgent immunisation supplies to Samoa and Tonga to guard against an outbreak of disease. Emergency supplies of oral rehydration salts and water purification tablets will also be sent. UNICEF is also planning to set up nutrition, water and sanitation programs as well as working with Samoa and Tongan partners to mobilize national systems to provide protection for women and children. It is believed that up to 6000 children have been impacted by the tsunami in Samoa alone.
UNICEF Pacific is assisting with the rapid needs assessment to ensure a focus on women and children, and will provide supplies and assistance to Samoa and Tonga under the coordination of the United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator’s Office and the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
For more information, please contact
Donna Hoerder, UNICEF Pacific
Tomas Jensen, UNICEF Pacific