UNICEF calls on Filipinos to donate for Nepal quake response
MANILA – At least 940,000 children living in areas severely affected by last weekend’s earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, says UNICEF.
According to Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs, the 7.9 magnitude earthquake on Saturday, and nearly 60 aftershocks, caused vast devastation across much of the country, including more than 2,000 deaths and widespread destruction of buildings.
“Children are always the most vulnerable in times of emergency. With limited access to safewater and sanitation, they are at greater risk from potentially fatal infections and diseases. We appeal to the Filipino public to send their help–-big and small-–to the survivors of this tragic event so the government and the people of Nepal and humanitarian workers on the ground can properly respond to the needs especially of the children and their families,” UNICEF Philippines Representative Lotta Sylwander said.
UNICEF staff in Nepal have reported dwindling supplies of water and food, power outages, and downed cellphone networks. Hundreds of thousands of people spent the night sleeping in open areas, out of fear of more tremors. Many children may have also been separated from their families during the earthquake; while others are huddling together outdoors, too afraid to enter the buildings that are destroyed or crumbling. Heavy rain is now also reported to have worsened the conditions on the ground.
UNICEF has mobilized staff and emergency supplies to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of children, focusing on water and sanitation, nutrition, education and child protection.
UNICEF already supports the transporting of water and provisionof oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to people gathered in informal settlements, and providing tents for field medical facilities, using supplies already prepositioned in the country.
UNICEF has also loaded two cargo flights for urgent airlift from Dubai and Copenhagen to Kathmandu. The planes will transport a total of 120 tons of humanitarian aid including medical and hospital supplies, tents and blankets.
“With children accounting for 40percent of the country’s population, we fear the disaster, including the aftershocks and depleted supplies, will have a severe impact on children,” Sylwander added.
UNICEF Philippines is accepting donations for the Nepal Earthquake response: Donation pick-ups within Metro Manila: call UNICEF hotlines (632)758-1000 / 758-1442. Online donation site: http://donate.unicef.ph
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