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Life-saving UNICEF supplies reach Nepal to help 1.7 million children severely affected by earthquake

2015-04-30

Photos and video can be downloaded here: http://uni.cf/1HH6SbO

KATHMANDU / NEW YORK, April 30, 2015 – Over the past 48 hours, UNICEF has delivered 29 metric tons of humanitarian supplies to Nepal including tents and tarpaulins, water purification tablets, first aid and hygiene kits, as part of ongoing efforts to reach at least 1.7 million children living in areas hardest hit by the earthquake. Over the coming days, UNICEF is planning additional aid items to arrive in Kathmandu.

“Children's lives in Nepal have been turned upside down,” said Raju Shreshta, Chief Logistics for UNICEF Supply Division in Copenhagen. “Thousands are dead, houses are destroyed - my family and friends in Nepal are caught up in the disaster, too. There is a lack of medical supplies and beds in the hospitals.  As a priority, UNICEF has shipped tents to Nepal that can serve as medical clinics and that can also provide shelter for children in urgent need. We are also sending water purification tablets to make sure children and their families have access to safe drinking water.”

Within hours of the 7.8 magnitude earthquake devastating parts of Nepal, UNICEF had delivered water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts and hygiene kits to affected communities, thanks to 30 metric tonnes of prepositioned emergency stocks kept ready in UNICEF warehouses in Nepal. These will help stave off water borne diseases for families who have little access to safe water as a result of the earthquake. More than a dozen informal settlements have sprung up around the Kathmandu and UNICEF and local partners are trucking safe water and hygiene supplies to all of them.

UNICEF and partners are working with the Government of Nepal to ensure humanitarian supplies are delivered and distributed to affected communities as quickly as possible through a combination of shipping supplies on commercial and charter airlines. Humanitarian agencies are contending with significant delays due to technical restrictions on maximum landing weight and the use of wide-body aircrafts.  The congestion at Kathmandu airport, due to constrained warehousing capacity and limited means to distribute incoming cargo, has compounded logistical challenges.

UNICEF has launched a US$50 million appeal to support its humanitarian response to the earthquake in Nepal over the next 90 days.

To donate, please go to unicef.ca or call 1-877-955-3111. All donations made to UNICEF Canada between April 25 and May 25, 2015 will be matched by the Canadian government.

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About UNICEF

UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more.

UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in over 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.

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.