New York, April 29, 2015 – Approximately 1.7 million children are now in urgent need of aid in the areas worst-hit by the earthquake in Nepal, according to UNICEF.
The children’s organization revealed the figure as it launched a $50.35 million appeal to get humanitarian assistance to children and their families amid growing risk of disease outbreaks. The appeal is UNICEF’s portion of a new inter-agency fundraising ask to meet immediate needs over the next 90 days.
The 7.9 magnitude earthquake has killed almost 5,000 and injured more than 9,700 people. It has also driven tens of thousands of people into open spaces and temporary camps in the Kathmandu valley and the rest of the worst-affected districts.
“The lives of so many children have been torn apart and they are in desperate need of life-saving support, including clean water, shelter and sanitation,” says Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF Nepal Representative.
"Without a safe water supply, waterborne diseases remain huge risks for children. Many families are struggling simply to protect themselves from the sun and rain and we only expect needs to grow in the coming days as we receive additional information from more remote areas and the full scale of the disaster becomes more apparent."
UNICEF is working with partners to deliver vital humanitarian assistance including clean water and shelter.
The latest updates from UNICEF's response include:
• Tents, hygiene kits, water purification tablets and buckets have been dispatched to Gorkha for distribution, the area at the epicenter of the earthquake, where the presence of dead bodies poses the risk of disease outbreak. Vital supplies have also been dispatched to Kavre and Dhading.
• UNICEF is delivering water purification tablets, buckets and hygiene kits in Bhaktapur where only 1 in 5 people are estimated to have access to clean water.
• Water tankers are distributing clean water to 16 informal camps that have sprung up in the Kathmandu valley.
• Teams are identifying and assisting children who have been separated from their families
• UNICEF is working with partners to provide psychological support for children living in informal camps who have experienced extreme shock
More than 80 percent of health facilities in the five most severely affected districts have been extensively damaged, with treatment taking place outside. 274 out of 323 schools assessed in 16 affected districts are either partially or fully damaged – underscoring the need for temporary learning spaces to protect children and allow them to establish a routine.
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:
Toll 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 10038
As 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
Access broadcast quality b-roll and photos: http://uni.cf/1HH6SbO. Interviews are available with UNICEF staff working on the emergency response.
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:
Andrea Sioris, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212-880-9136, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jodi Patkin, U.S. Fund for UNICEF, 212-922-2634, email@example.com