KATHMANDU, Nepal/NEW YORK, 26 April 2015 – At least 940,000 children living in areas severely affected by yesterday's earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, says UNICEF. The 7.9 magnitude earthquake on April 25, and nearly 60 aftershocks, caused vast devastation across much of the country, including more than 2,000 deaths and widespread destruction of buildings.

UNICEF staff in Nepal report 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. Heavy rain is now also reported to be worsening conditions.   This crisis leaves children particularly vulnerable - limited access to safe water and sanitation will put children at great risk from waterborne diseases, while some children may have become separated from their families.

UNICEF is mobilizing staff and emergency supplies to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of children affected by the earthquake, focusing on water and sanitation, nutrition, education and child protection. UNICEF is already supporting tankering of water and provision of 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 is also readying two cargo flights with a combined 120 tons of humanitarian supplies including medical and hospital supplies, tents and blankets, for urgent airlift to Kathmandu.

“In the wake of yesterday's devastating earthquake, UNICEF is working tirelessly to do whatever it takes to ensure the health and safety of Nepal's children," said Caryl M. Stern President & CEO of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "But, we cannot do that alone. UNICEF and our partners are relying on the generosity of the American people to help us put children first and provide them with water, sanitation, food, safe shelter, medical care and more during this emergency.”

How to help: For more information or to make a tax-deductible contribution to UNICEF’s relief efforts, please contact the U.S. Fund for UNICEF:

Website: www.unicefusa.org/nepalToll free: 1-800-FOR-KIDS

Text: Text "Nepal" to 864233 (UNICEF) to make a $10 donation

Mail: 125 Maiden Lane, 10th Floor, New York, NY 10038As with any emergency, in the event that donations exceed anticipated needs, the U.S. Fund will redirect any excess funds to children in greatest need.

Find us on Twitter: @unicefusa; join us on Facebook: UNICEF-USA

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The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to put children first. UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization, by providing health care and immunizations, clean water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. The U.S. Fund for UNICEF supports UNICEF's work through fundraising, advocacy and education in the United States. Together, we are working toward the day when no children die from preventable causes and every child has a safe and healthy childhood. For more information, visit www.unicefusa.org.

For further information and interview requests, please contact:

Susannah Masur, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, smasur@unicefusa.org

Jodi Patkin, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, jpatkin@unicefusa.org