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UNICEF provides support to victims of Indonesian natural disasters

2010-10-27

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.

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About UNICEF 
UNICEF is the world's leading child-focused humanitarian and development agency. Through innovative programs and advocacy work, we save children's lives and secure their rights in virtually every country. Our global reach, unparalleled influence on policymakers, and diverse partnerships make us an instrumental force in shaping a world in which no child dies of a preventable cause.  UNICEF is entirely supported by voluntary donations and helps all children, regardless of race, religion or politics. 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.