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As Schools Reopen in Indonesia, World Vision Says Children's Basic Needs Still Not Being Met
Date:10/5/2009

- Children in hardest-hit areas remain at risk, warns World Vision

- World Vision to open 13 Child-Friendly Spaces to help children recover

- Aid agency calls on Indonesian government to prioritize its relief efforts to provide for children

PADANG, Indonesia, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As schoolchildren in Indonesia's West Sumatra quake zone were called back to school today, aid group World Vision says these thousands of children affected by last week's earthquake remain the disaster's most vulnerable survivors. The organization is actively calling on the government of Indonesia and other humanitarian actors to prioritize relief efforts that meet the urgent physical and psycho-social needs of children in the quake zone. The most urgent needs include clean water and safe places to play and begin learning again, the agency said.

"From the terror of aftershocks to the vulnerability of their immune systems to the need to have a normal routine, children's vulnerabilities are magnified in a disaster like this," said Amelia Merrick, Operations Director for World Vision in Indonesia. "It's absolutely critical that emergency response teams make children's unique needs a priority. Even though the ground has stopped shaking, the West Sumatra quake's youngest survivors still face a daily struggle, both physically and psychologically."

Because of unsanitary conditions and lack of clean water or disinfectant, even minor injuries sustained in a disaster can become life-threatening without medical attention. In addition, fallen buildings, destroyed homes, and flooded paths or waterholes continue to pose safety hazards to children who are left unsupervised. Children need appropriate food, adequate water and sanitation, and shelter as soon as possible. Without these basics, children's immunity against disease will be vastly reduced.

As part of its 90-day emergency response plan, World Vision will
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SOURCE World Vision
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