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

n devastated with a large number of critical local government service providers also perishing in the earthquake. Those children who have survived the earthquake are in great need."

According to Wang Shuguang, a UNICEF consultant living and working in the immediate area, the current situation for surviving children is difficult. "The children and their families are in dire need of shelter, water, and basic life necessities. They also need us to stand by their side and hold their hand to get over this tragedy." Wang's own family was hard hit by the earthquake, "I found my little girl on the play ground. I could hardly recognize her. She looked so pitifully dirty and stank, drinking only the rainwater." This is what most of the school children face in damaged buildings, he recalled.

UNICEF has been working in Sichuan and other nearby quake affected provinces for more than two decades in health, early childhood development, water and sanitation, anti-trafficking, HIV/AIDS and local planning. Sichuan is one of the poorer provinces of China with a significant ethnic minority population.

Currently, the official death toll as reported by Xinhua news agency has risen to 28,881 with an additional 198,347 persons injured and 14,000 people remaining under debris and rubble. A total of 3.3 million homes have been destroyed and 15.6 million homes have been damaged. According to the Sichuan Earthquake Command Centre in Chengdu 33, 434 people have been rescued from debris.

About UNICEF in China: UNICEF first assisted China between 1947 and 1951, providing emergency services, food and nutrition, health and hygiene training during and after the Revolutionary War. In 1979 UNICEF officially commenced its cooperation with the Government of China to support child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is on the ground in over
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SOURCE UNICEF China
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