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UNICEF and partners provide assistance to earthquake-struck Chile

2010-03-08

TORONTO, 9 March 2010 – Following the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that struck Chile on February 27, UNICEF and partners are providing emergency relief to the children and families of Chile.

Of the estimated two million people directly affected by the earthquake and tsunami, approximately half are children, and one fifth are under the age of five. As in any disaster, children are the most vulnerable. Susceptible to cold, hunger, disrupted infant feeding practices, water born diseases and psycho-emotional problems, children and women in the affected regions require urgent assistance to be able to return to a normal life.

UNICEF and its partners are working closely with the Government of Chile to respond swiftly and effectively to the crisis.  In order to respond quickly, UNICEF is requesting an initial US$3.5 million to meet the immediate and medium-term needs of children and families.

Working with 12 UN agencies, UNICEF is diagnosing the challenges and needs in the affected areas to ensure that children’s safety is central to all response measures. UNICEF will lead development in the areas of child protection, clean water and sanitation, and will actively participate in developing education with an emphasis on early development and teacher training.  Additionally, UNICEF is working to address mental health needs by providing psychosocial support to children, parents and teachers.

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.