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Updated: UNICEF Rushing Emergency Relief to Children in Sichuan
Date:5/17/2008

First hand reports: children need food, water, shelter

BEIJING, May 17 /Xinhua-PRNewswire/ -- The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is rushing today to pack and ship emergency relief supplies to children affected by the May 12 earthquake which devastated several counties in central Sichuan. The quake which measured 7.9 on the Richter scale is being called the most powerful earthquake to hit China in recent times.

UNICEF has procured some US$430,000 dollars worth of emergency supplies that have been requested by the government of China. The first consignments of aid -- 1,000 tents, 15,000 blankets and 60,000 school kits -- are expected to arrive in quake affected areas in the next 24 hours. Health equipment, medicines and water and sanitation materials will soon follow.

The Government of China reiterated that at present international teams would not be broadly accepted, and that there would be a role for the international community in rehabilitation and reconstruction. UNICEF has begun making preparations to carry out its own assessment of the situation of children as soon as it is allowed.

"We are going to do our utmost to assist the Chinese government to care for and protect children affected by this terrible, terrible tragedy," said Dr. Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF Representative and UN Disaster Management Team Chair in China, "It is truly encouraging to see how the whole country has rallied in support the Government's relief response."

"The situation now is critical. We need to move as fast as possible, with no delays, to speed life-saving medicines, vaccinations, water purification tablets, oral rehydration salts, obstetrics and surgical kits, water containers and the like. Families trying to cope will require basic materials like collapsible water containers, soap, tarpaulins to survive after losing everything. The Ministry of Civil Affairs on Friday relayed to us that the entire infrastructure of the region has bee
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SOURCE UNICEF China
Copyright©2008 PR Newswire.
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