UNICEF is Concerned for Safety of Thousands of Children Following Sulawesi Tsunami

October 1, 2018


JAKARTA (October 1, 2018) – Three days after the earthquake that shook the island of Sulawesi and the devastating tsunami that swept through Palu City, UNICEF says the situation for tens of thousands of children remains extremely precarious in the days ahead. Children in Palu, Donggala and other affected sites in Sulawesi need urgent help to recover. Many have lost their loved ones, homes, neighbourhoods and all things familiar in their lives.

“With each new report about this devastating earthquake and tsunami, our concern increases for the safety of children in Palu, Donggala and other sites hit by the disaster. UNICEF Indonesia, in partnership with the Government, is doing everything it can to respond to this emergency, which hit the country just one month after another powerful earthquake resulted in hundreds of deaths in Lombok.” says OIC for UNICEF Indonesia Representative Amanda Bissex. 

The government has confirmed that as of October 1: 844 people are dead, 632 injured and 90 missing with 48,025 internally displaced (IDPs) and around 1.5 million potentially affected. It is likely that these figures will increase as more areas become accessible and the Government conducts more assessments. 

Based on initial assessments with partners on the ground, immediate needs include evacuation and management of the injured, medical and health services including referral services, water and sanitation services, provision of food and non-food items, and emergency shelter. More than 1,000 schools are feared to be affected, directly impacting approximately 19 percent of students in Central Sulawesi.

Based on UNICEF’s experience in Indonesia, items needed for distribution to affected children and families include food (ready-to-eat meals), water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) supplies, and primary healthcare provisions including first aid, medicines, and female hygiene kits. In addition, services for identification and referral for separated and unaccompanied children, prevention of family separation, psychosocial support and education need to be established as quickly as possible to return children to normalcy.

UNICEF is appealing for USD 5 million to cover education, health, nutrition, sanitation and child protection needs for the current emergency as well as to support the Country Office’s response in the aftermath of the Lombok earthquakes. 


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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, safe water and sanitation, nutrition, education, emergency relief and more. UNICEF USA 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 more information, contact 
Erica Vogel, UNICEF USA, 212.922.2480, evogel@unicefusa.org