UNICEF scales up response to emergency in western Uganda
KAMPALA, Tuesday, 18 July 2013 - The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is scaling up its emergency response to the influx of over 66,000 refugees who fled into Bundibugyo District, western Uganda to escape fighting in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) last week. The fighting was triggered by suspected Allied Democratic Forces rebels, leading to the mass movement of people out of Kamango town in North Kivu and surrounding areas in DRC.
UNICEF and partners have already reunited 28 children who had been separated from their families. The agency has allocated two tents, with a guardian in each, to protect at least 60 unaccompanied and separated children.
Immunisation against polio for all children up to the age of five and measles for children from six months to 15 years of age has commenced, along with the provision of Vitamin A supplements. Tents to create temporary child-friendly spaces and 40 recreational kits have been provided to cover the needs of up to 800 children.
The child rights agency has supplied chlorine to purify water for 50,000 people, three 10,000-litre collapsible water tanks and is providing regular transport for water to meet the needs of the refugees. A Cholera Kit designed to serve up to 100 patients in the event of a cholera outbreak has been delivered. At least 30 hygiene promoters have been hired and over 70 stances of latrines installed to increase sanitation facilities and promote hygiene.
Under the coordination of Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), UNICEF continues to work with partners including the ICRC, MSF, Save the Children and Uganda Red Cross Society to meet the needs of the refugees in the areas of health and nutrition, water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection and education.
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UNICEF works in more than 190 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 about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org