media releases & reports

As Indonesian death toll mounts, concern for children grows

Media Release: As Indonesian death toll mounts, concern for children grows

October 1, 2018:As the death toll from Friday’s 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami inIndonesia continues to rise, UNICEF NZ has launched an urgent fundraising appeal to ensure the ongoing safety and well-being of children on the affected island of Sulawesi.

With the number of fatalities expected to rise sharply, and many thousands more people injured, there are concerns about high numbers of unaccompanied and vulnerable children.

“Our team in Indonesia has been working to assess where the needs are greatest, and where UNICEF’s expertise will be of most benefit to affected children and families,” said Vivien Maidaborn, UNICEF NZ ExecutiveDirector.

“As our thoughts go out to those affected by this terrible event, we want to ensure that the many children caught up in this disaster are cared for and protected. UNICEF NZ stands ready to help.”

The government has confirmed (as of 30 September) 832people are dead, 580 injured and 29 missing with an additional 1.5 million people potentially affected across 85 districts. More than 1000 schools are believed to have been affected.

UNICEF is carrying out emergency assessments alongside the Indonesian Government, and is ready to mobilise supplies and personnel to address urgent humanitarian needs in the worst affected areas. The immediate priorities for UNICEF are:

●     Assessing needs and determining the best and most effective way to respond

●     Finding shelter for the families from thousands of homes that have collapsed

●     Reuniting missing children with their families

●     Ensuring that families are provided with safe drinking water and sanitation

Once initial assessments have been completed, UNICEF will ensure that children are receiving vital medical attention and supplies, adequate nutrition, and access to education.

Just last month, a series of deadly earthquakes struck the Indonesian island of Lombok, killing more than500 people. UNICEF expects that the humanitarian impact to be even more significant in Sulawesi.

The New Zealand public can support children affected by this disaster by donating here: http://www.unicef.org.nz/indonesia

For moreinformation:

Lachlan Forsyth, +64 21 517 449, lachlan@unicef.org.nz

About UNICEF:

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about our work for children both here and abroad, visit www.unicef.org.nz