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UNICEF provides support to victims of Indonesian natural disasters

JAKARTA, Indonesia, 28 October 2010 – Following this week’s double natural disasters caused by an earthquake in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province and the volcanic eruption of Mount Merapi in Central Java, UNICEF is working closely with Government of Indonesia partners to provide emergency assistance for children.

Since Monday’s earthquake and subsequent high seas off the Mentawai islands and the unrelated eruption of Mount Merapi on Tuesday, government disaster management agencies have been leading efforts to meet the immediate needs of affected populations.

Following rapid assessments in the Merapi area, UNICEF is sending jerry cans, household hygiene kits and water storage bladders to meet the needs of up to 4,500 families displaced from their homes by the volcano.

In West Sumatra, UNICEF is sending 6,000 bed nets to protect families against malaria, following Monday night’s earthquake that caused the sea to rush into the Mentawai Islands, destroying homes in a highly malaria endemic area.

UNICEF is also working with the Indonesian Ministry of Health to ensure that breastfeeding mothers affected by the disasters are supported to continue caring for their infants and that donations of infant formula or other complementary foods are properly regulated to avoid risks to babies’ health.

Investments made by UNICEF and other UN agencies after the 2004 tsunami, that devastated the province of Aceh, have helped to strengthen Indonesia’s capacity to effectively manage sudden humanitarian crises.

UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 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: www.unicef.org

For further information, please contact:
Edward Carwardine, Chief of Communication, UNICEF Indonesia,
Tel + 62 (0)812 123 7252,

Lely Djuhari, Communication Specialist, UNICEF Indonesia,
Tel + 62 (0)811 802 338,

Patrick McCormick, UNICEF New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7426 / Cell + 1 917 582 7546




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