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UNICEF ships emergency supplies for Cyclone-affected children in Vanuatu

2015-03-16

SUVA, 16 March 2015 – While distributing its pre-positioned emergency supplies in Vanuatu, UNICEF also has dispatched additional life-saving supplies for affected communities from its Pacific regional warehouse in Suva, Fiji. This includes health, education, child protection, and water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies.

“The supplies have been packed today and will be airlifted to Vanuatu tomorrow,” UNICEF Pacific Deputy Representative, Ms Isabelle Austin said. “Digicel provided a free airlift and volunteers helped pack the supplies through the night at a warehouse in Suva. These include basic health kits, oral rehydration salt (ORS) sachets, zinc tablets, vitamin A capsules, de-worming (Albendazole) tablets, school backpacks with stationery supplies, recreation kits, hygiene kits, water tanks, soap for handwashing, collapsible water containers and water purification tables.”

Government and humanitarian partners are beginning to conduct comprehensive assessments that will doubtless quantify additional needs, especially beyond the city of Port Vila and on other islands. Meanwhile, these supplies are for immediate needs and to address serious concerns about risks to children’s and families’ health and hygiene, as well as children’s learning and psycho-social needs.

The supplies include five basic health kits with each kit covering 10,000 patients; 1,508 school backpacks with stationery supplies; 31,300 ORS sachets; 330 zinc tablets; 32 de-worming tablets; 69 recreation kits to reach a total of 6,210 children (90 children per kit); 3,000 WASH kits; 200 hygiene kits; 3,000 soaps for hand washing; 5 x 5,000 litre collapsible water tanks and 5 x 1,500 litre collapsible water tanks.

Vanuatu’s international airport - Bauerfield International airport - will reopen for commercial flights tomorrow (17 March). A number of shipping vessels carrying relief items departed for Vanuatu from Fiji on 16 March. UNICEF, World Food Programme and other partners are working with the National Disaster Management Office in Vanuatu to set up and run emergency logistics hubs to assure smooth flow of humanitarian supplies in country.

Canadians can contribute to relief efforts by making a donation at unicef.ca.

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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.

Photos and video footage

Images and videos can also be downloaded from:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/pkxtje8u0mrh0xt/AADt2Go6NBKR30HJDR1FLz_9a?dl=0

For more updates on the ground please visit the UNICEF Pacific YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLKIZuPp2cWuWygdPD48tu039JdFfjKCdJ

Edited packages are available here:

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/orwcfr881wp4kdu/AAAQisP72EIWFhJ9nKC-sr0ma?dl=0

Please ensure all videos and images from Saturday, March 14 are attributed to UNICEF Pacific/ Humans of Vanuatu.

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.