UNICEF prepares to respond to 43,000 children affected by Tropical Storm Washi (Sendong)
Manila, Philippines. 18 December 2011. UNICEF is preparing to respond to the needs of approximately 43,000 children affected by the devastating floods brought on by Tropical Storm Washi (local name Sendong) in northern and western Mindanao, Southern Philippines.
The tropical storm swept through the southern island during the night of 16th December, dropping the equivalent of one month's rainfall in just one day. The resulting flash floods, which rose very quickly during the night, killed at least 330 people, with 270 still missing.
UNICEF is now turning its focus to the estimated 43,000 children affected by the floods, with 14,000 currently in evacuation centres.
Assessments with other UN and government agencies are currently underway and will establish the major needs of the displaced and affected families. Of particular concern to UNICEF are water and sanitation conditions, the health and nutritional status of children, especially under fives, and the protection of children in evacuation centres and affected communities.
"We are shocked and saddened at the major loss of life, but our attention now has to turn to the needs of the many children left without homes and family members. They will need a great deal of support in the coming days and weeks, to ensure they are healthy, protected and able to recover from this devastating experience." Said Trevor Clark, Chief of UNICEF Mindanao office.
UNICEF has prepared supplies to be dispatched to the affected areas including: water kits, to ensure safe, clean water; hygiene kits containing soap, toothbrushes and personal hygiene items; tents and tarpaulins for temporary shelter, vitamin A for mothers and infants; breastfeeding education materials to reduce the risk of infant mortality and recreation kits so children can play and begin to have a sense of normalcy.
Angela Travis, Chief of Communication, firstname.lastname@example.org
Philippa Day, Emergency Communication, email@example.com