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Earthquake in Indonesia; UNICEF is there

2009-09-30

Jakarta, Indonesia, 1 October 2009 – UNICEF Indonesia is deploying emergency staff to the province of West Sumatra to assess the immediate needs of children who survived yesterday’s deadly earthquake.

According to initial estimates, a 7.6 Richter-scale earthquake killed at least 500 people on 30 September. The death toll is expected to rise sharply. Tens of thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes. An estimated third of those affected are children.

 “The needs of thousands of children are vast and urgent. They must have access to clean water, shelter, and help in overcoming the aftermath of the earthquake,” says UNICEF Country Representative in Indonesia, Angela Kearney.

“Children who survived the quake are at extreme risk of illnesses, including diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections and outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases such as measles, and polio.  The risk of tetanus is very high due to injuries and open wounds,” she said.

UNICEF is ready to support the Indonesian government tackle immediate needs such as ensuring the availability of clean water, sanitation facilities and hygiene kits, providing protective services and safe places for children, and by providing emergency early childhood care kits, school tents, school-in-a-box and recreational kits which help get children back to school quickly and build a sense of normalcy.

UNICEF has been present in Indonesia almost continuously since 1948.

Check back from more information.  

Donations

To support UNICEF’s relief efforts in emergency situations please donate now.

UNICEF Canada raises funds for emergencies based on country needs. Should the total contributions exceed the funding needs for a certain emergency, the funds received will be reallocated to other UNICEF emergency programmes where the need is greatest.

For further information:

Stefanie Carmichael, Communications Specialist, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8866; Cell: (647) 500-4230, scarmichael@unicef.ca.
Tiffany Baggetta, Director, Communications and Brand, (416) 482-6552 ext. 8892; Cell: (647) 308-4806, tbaggetta@unicef.ca.