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Myanmar Cyclone a Children's Catastrophe - UNICEF
Date:5/8/2008

UNICEF Appeals for More than $8 million for medicines and other lifesaving

supplies

NEW YORK, May 8 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the death toll from Cyclone Nargis climbs steeply, UNICEF is gravely concerned that the lack of shelter and safe drinking water, coupled with poor sanitary conditions, could significantly increase the death toll among children and other vulnerable populations, leading to a second wave of deaths.

With the death toll climbing well past 50,000, there is concern that disease could spread quickly, aided by warm weather and standing polluted water. In all, roughly 8-million children are in immediate danger.

"There is no time to waste when it comes to saving children's lives," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "With the lives of tens of thousands of children hanging in the balance, every second counts."

Noting that with one in three children malnourished in Myanmar, many children lack the ability to endure a catastrophe on such a massive scale. "This is quickly shaping up to be a children's catastrophe," said Stern.

UNICEF today outlined in a new document to the donor community the harsh impact the cyclone had on the children of Myanmar. Flood waters could be a source of mosquito breeding and lead to malaria and dengue fever outbreaks which are endemic in Myanmar. In addressing that and other priorities UNICEF today issued an appeal for immediate needs of $8.2 million.

"In any disaster, it is children who suffer most. Children have died; many are separated from their families, injured and traumatized. Vulnerable to hunger, disease and trauma, children and women in the affected areas require urgent life-saving assistance to survive," UNICEF says in the donor appeal.

UNICEF began responding within hours of the disaster, drawing on pre- positioned emergency medical supplies. Along with its partners, including sister UN agencies and inte
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