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UNICEF Rushing Medical Supplies, Tents, Clean Water to Children Affected by Powerful Earthquake in China
Date:5/14/2008

Estimated $5 Million Required for Immediate Needs

NEW YORK, May 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Two days after the largest earthquake to hit China in a generation, news of its full impact on the communities living close to the epicenter is still trickling in at a painfully slow speed.

According to AFP news service, military aircraft today dropped relief supplies and personnel by parachute from the air. The agency also reported that a number of villages and small towns were almost completely destroyed. The Chinese government has mounted a massive effort to respond. More than 100,000 rescue personnel are said to have been mobilized to aid in rescue efforts. In order to reach the worst affected areas these teams have been forced to cover the final miles on foot and in very difficult terrain.

Additionally, the Government of China has formally requested assistance from the international community to help meet the needs of those affected. Both cash and relief supplies have been requested, but field assessment missions by outside organizations are not recommended due to the extreme difficulty in traveling to the worst affected areas.

In response, UNICEF China is mobilizing urgently needed relief supplies with immediate emphasis on health and medical kits, tents and shelter materials and clean water and sanitation supplies.

"UNICEF is working with the Government of China to rush tents, medicine, clean water and other supplies to help avert a secondary catastrophe," said Caryl Stern, President and CEO, U.S. Fund for UNICEF. "Keeping the surviving children alive in the days and weeks ahead is our priority. Their homes, schools and surroundings have literally crumbled around them, causing unimaginable trauma, fear and injury. UNICEF will do whatever it takes to bring relief to the earthquake's smallest survivors."

Prior to the earthquake, UNICEF China had been implementing its programs extensively throughout Sichuan provi
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SOURCE UNICEF
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