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Tsunami disaster – countries in crisis

UNICEF helps children cope with the devastation

© UNICEF Indonesia/2004
Wreckage in the streets of Banda Aceh.
ACEH, Indonesia, 3 January 2005 – Life-saving supplies provided by UNICEF are being distributed in order to help the children of Indonesia in coping with the devastation caused by last week’s tsunamis. The monstrous tidal waves have left over 82,000 people dead and over 1,600 people missing.

“At least a third of the people who are affected are children,” said John Budd, UNICEF Indonesia Communication Officer. “We have managed to ship from the Copenhagen warehouse emergency health kits that can supply 200,000 people for about 2 weeks. The kits should help them cope with the problems like diarrhea, malaria and cholera.”

© UNICEF Indonesia/2004
International aid arrive at Banda Aceh airport
UNICEF also procured non-essential food items - such as blankets, tents and plastic sheeting - for children and their families. A total of 8,000 tarpaulins arrived on 3 January, and another $10 million worth of supplies are to arrive over the next few weeks.

Indonesia is still in a state of emergency following the powerful earthquake that measured 9.0 on the Richter scale. A total of 4.5 million people in Indonesia have been affected by the resulting tsunamis. Approximately 200,000 people are taking shelter in temporary tents or camps, while another 500,000 people are homeless. Aceh Province in Northern Sumatra is the worst affected, with about 60 per cent of Banda Aceh, the provincial capital, having already been ruined.

© UNICEF Indonesia/2004
Wide spread destruction in the streets of Banda Aceh
UNICEF is setting up the first child centre through an NGO based in Medan, Aceh. The centre will handle reunification, psychosocial support and temporary accommodations for unaccompanied or orphaned children. Indonesia’s police department has issued a strict warning to those who might try and benefit through child trafficking or illegal adoption as a result of the tsunami disaster.

UN Secretary General Kofi Annan is scheduled to visit Indonesia on 5 January, while UNICEF Executive Director Carol Bellamy will meet with Indonesia’s Minister of Education on 6 January in order to discuss UNICEF’s role in getting children back into school as quickly as possible.







29 December: UNICEF Communication Officer John Budd talks about the devastation and difficulties facing Indonesia's children

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