JAKARTA, 1 October 2018 – Three days after the earthquake that shook the Indonesian island of Sulawesi and the devastating tsunami that swept through Palu City, UNICEF says the situation for tens of thousands of children will remain extremely precarious in the days ahead. Children in Palu, Donggala and other affected sites in Sulawesi need urgent help to recover. Many have lost their loved ones, homes and neighbourhoods.
“With each new report about this devastating earthquake and tsunami, our concern increases for the safety of children in Palu, Donggala and other sites hit by the disaster," said Amanda Bissex, OIC for the UNICEF Representative in Indonesia. "UNICEF Indonesia, in partnership with the Government, is doing everything it can to respond to this emergency, which hit the country just one month after another powerful earthquake resulted in hundreds of deaths in Lombok.”
As of 1 October, the Government has confirmed 844 deaths and 632 people injured, with 90 missing and 48,025 internally displaced. The Government estimates around 1.5 million people are potentially affected. It is likely that these figures will increase as more areas become accessible and additional assessments are conducted.
Based on the initial assessment with partners on the ground, immediate needs include evacuation and management of injured, medical and health services including referral services, water and sanitation, food and non-food items and emergency shelter. More than 1,000 schools are feared to have been damaged, directly impacting about 19 per cent of the students in Central Sulawesi.
Based on UNICEF’s experience in Indonesia, essential supplies include food (ready-to-eat meals), water and sanitation materials, primary healthcare items, medicines, and female hygiene kits. In addition, services for the identification and referral of separated and unaccompanied children, prevention of family separation, psychosocial support and education, will need to be scaled up as quickly as possible to protect children and help reestablish a sense of normalcy.
UNICEF is appealing for US $5 million to cover education, health, nutrition, sanitation and child protection needs for the current emergency as well as the lasting impact of the Lombok earthquake.
Donations can be made at unicef.id/tsunamisulawesi
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