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Indonesia: UNICEF appeals for US$26.6 million to support emergency response and early recovery for children in Sulawesi and Lombok

2018-10-11

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Jakarta/Geneva, 11 October 2018 – UNICEF launched today a combined emergency and recovery appeal to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of children in the aftermath of the Sulawesi and Lombok disasters over a period of 6 months. The funds will help provide water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), health, nutrition, education and child protection services for an estimated 475,000 children, as part of the response led by the Government of Indonesia.

It is estimated that 1.5 million people have been affected by a tsunami triggered by a 7.4 magnitude earthquake off the coast of Sulawesi on 28 September. As of 9 October, 2,010 people are confirmed dead, 10,700 people seriously injured and 671 people still missing.

In Lombok, following a series of destructive earthquakes in August, more than 340,000 people are still displaced and living in 2,800 camps.

UNICEF is seeking US$26.6 million to support 1.4 million people access services for WASH, child protection, education, health, and infant nutrition in both Central Sulawesi and Lombok.

“Our utmost priority at the moment is to ensure that children receive life-saving support in the form of health, water and sanitation, nutrition and child protection services,” said UNICEF Indonesia Representative Debora Comini. “But the next 6 months are extremely crucial, as we work to ensure that every child affected has a fair chance of continuing their ongoing recovery and rebuilding their lives for the better in a safe and conducive environment.”

Around 83,000 people have been displaced in Central Sulawesi and some 500,000 people urgently need access to water and sanitation services. Prior to this disaster, Palu, the main urban centre had a low immunization coverage at 49 per cent, and a wasting and stunting prevalence of 12.5 and 36.1 per cent respectively. Central Sulawesi also has one of the lowest rates of sanitation in Indonesia. These vulnerabilities exacerbate the risk of disease outbreaks for thousands of children. Many of the 2,700 schools in the region could also be affected and the education of 270,000 children could therefore be in jeopardy.

As part of its emergency response, UNICEF and partners will be providing water and sanitation services for displaced populations, complemented by hygiene promotion; UNICEF will also help with the resumption of health and nutrition services and will be setting up temporary learning spaces.

UNICEF is concerned about separated children and children in need of psychosocial support. UNICEF teams on the ground are putting in place community-based safe spaces for women and children, including child-friendly spaces, and continuing registration and tracing mechanisms to help identify, register, verify and reunite children and families.

In Lombok, UNICEF supports the Ministry of Health on nutrition, maternal and child health, as well as immunization; and the Ministry of Public Works on WASH. UNICEF is also working with the Ministry of Social Affairs and the Ministry of Education to ensure that child protection and psychosocial activities are in line with the global minimum standards.

“A team of UNICEF staff have been on-site in the affected areas, supporting the government’s response in the areas of water, sanitation and hygiene, child protection, health, nutrition and education. And we will continue to be there, to expand our immediate relief operations into early recovery so that children are able to get their lives back on track for a better future,” added Comini.

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Donate to UNICEF’s Earthquake and Tsunami Indonesia Relief Fund to give immediate aid to children affected by the crisis.

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:

Marie-Hélène Bachand, Communications Specialist, (514) 288-5134 ext. 8425; Cell: (514) 232-4510, mbachand@unicef.ca

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