UNICEF is mobilising an urgent response to meet the needs of children affected by today’s earthquake in Kathmandu, Nepal.
With children accounting for half the country’s population, UNICEF fears the disaster, which is reported to have already killed hundreds of people, will have a severe impact on children.
The 7.9 magnitude earthquake has destroyed buildings, mobile networks are down in many areas and electricity is out.
UNICEF has prepositioned supplies, including water purification tablets, hygiene kits, tarpaulins and nutrition supplies.
On the ground in Kathmandu is UNICEF Nepal staffer, Rupa Joshi.
“The shake was like nothing I have experienced in my 57 years. It was strong and it shook for a long time. Many people fear Kathmandu will have very a high death rate. Fortunately, today is Saturday so schools were off and the quake came in the daytime,” Mr Joshi said.
“When I went out in the evening, I saw many people preparing to camp out in the main open parade ground in the middle of the street. Relatives were crying in the main government hospital where the dead were being lined up in front of the hospital building.”
The most recent government figures suggest there are between 700 – 1000 casualties, however this number is expected to increase.
UNICEF Australia International Programs Manager, Felicity Wever, said the organisation was extremely concerned for children who are most vulnerable in a disaster.
“UINCEF is well positioned to respond immediately and we are doing everything we can to work with government and partners for an immediate response,” Ms Wever said.
“Child protection is our main priority and we’re doing everything we can to meet children’s immediate needs in the areas of water and sanitation, child protection, health and nutrition.”
UNICEF Australia has launched an emergency appeal. To donate please visit www.unicef.org.au or call 1300 884 233.
Source: UNICEF Australia
Ryan Fritz started The Advocate in 2014 to provide not-for-profits and charities another media platform to tell their worthwhile hard news stories and opinion pieces effortlessly. In 2020, Ryan formed a team of volunteer journalists to help spread even more high-quality stories from the third sector. He also has over 10 years experience as a media and communications professional for not-for-profits and charities and currently works at Redkite, a childhood cancer charity.