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News note

UNICEF relief supplies arrive in post-Ivan Jamaica

KINGSTON, JAMAICA, 16 September 2004 - Water and sanitation supplies from UNICEF are part of a shipment of goods totaling US$23,000, slated to arrive in Jamaica on Thursday, September 16.

The supplies are being sent in response to the serious challenges facing the island’s children following the passage of Hurricane Ivan. They include water purification tablets, water containers, chlorine bleach and oral rehydration salt for the treatment of diarrhea.

This action was taken as a result of UNICEF’s concern.  Lack of access to clean water is placing thousands of children at risk of water and sanitation related diseases such as diarrhea and intestinal infections caused by parasites.
The existing unsanitary conditions resulting in part from the lack of water creates conditions which are ideal for the spread of water and sanitation related diseases, including diarrhea.  Children, the youngest and most vulnerable sections of the population, are usually at the highest risk of falling ill or dying from these diseases.   In southern parishes, children have been gathering water from unsafe sources such as streams and springs, which have been polluted by recent flooding and heavy rains.

In addition to the existing public health education efforts, restoring access to safe water is crucial.

The UNICEF supplies, which also include first aid kits, emergency health kits, tents, blankets, bathing soap, detergent, children’s clothing and educational supplies including basic school supplies (school in a box kits) and children’s story books, will be distributed through the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM).

UNICEF has also procured US$10,000.00 worth of goods for children in 10 government-operated homes which were severely damaged by the hurricane.

The above-mentioned is response to the needs of children in following programme areas – health, water and sanitation, education and child protection.

For further information, please contact:

Monica Dias, UNICEF Jamaica, + 876-926-7584, mdias@unicef.org




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