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News note

UNICEF seeks $3 million to meet immediate needs of children affected by Indonesian earthquake

JAKARTA, INDONESIA, 9 October 2009 — As part of the UN Humanitarian Response Plan to last week’s earthquake in Indonesia, which was launched today in Jakarta, UNICEF is seeking $3 million to help meet the costs of continuing its life-saving work in the affected area, establishing systems to protect vulnerable children and coordinating key parts of the massive aid operation currently underway.

Priorities identified for affected children include securing adequate water supplies, preventing disease outbreak through improved hygiene, rapid training of local health workers on child nutrition, establishing temporary tent classrooms, delivering school supplies, and working with communities to prevent children being exploited in the aftermath of the earthquake that shook the province of West Sumatra on 30 September.

“Today’s Humanitarian Response plan underlines the determination of the UN system to support the Government of Indonesia and assist the process of recovery in West Sumatra,” said UNICEF Indonesia Country Representative Angela Kearney.

“It is vital that special attention is paid to the needs of children and their mothers, who have been especially hard hit by this disaster,” added Ms. Kearney. “Children need to see that services are being re-established, that they are being afforded proper protection and that their lives can continue, despite the terrible experiences they have lived through.”

In the days after the earthquake, UNICEF rushed more than 100 water storage containers – each with sufficient capacity for 5,000 litres of clean water – 20,000 jerry cans, 2,000 packages of water purification tablets, 40,000 hygiene kits containing buckets, soap, detergent, 250 school tents and 120 sets of school and recreational materials to the province.

The children’s agency aims to support at least 50,000 families with this immediate aid, while over the three months covered by today’s Response Plan up to 200,000 people will be reached by UNICEF assistance.

UNICEF is funded entirely by voluntary contributions. Its work, in close collaboration with national governments and other partners, is carried out with the sustained generous contributions received from governments, foundations, UN agencies, international financial institutions, individuals and businesses.

For further information, please contact:
Edward Carwardine, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Indonesia,
Tel + 62 812 123 7252,
E-mail: ecarwardine@unicef.org

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7426,
E-mail: pmccormick@unicef.org




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