HONG KONG, 2 October 2018 – Four days after the earthquake that shook the island of Sulawesi and the devastating tsunami that swept through Palu City, UNICEF says the situation for tens of thousands of children remains extremely precarious in the days ahead. Children in Palu, Donggala and other affected sites in Sulawesi need urgent help to recover. Many have lost their loved ones, homes, neighbourhoods and all things familiar in their lives.
The government has confirmed that as of 1 October, 2018, 844 people are dead, 632 injured and 90 missing with 48,025 internally displaced and around 1.5 million potentially affected. It is likely that these figures will increase as more areas become accessible and the Government conducts more assessments.
Based on initial assessments with partners on the ground, immediate needs include evacuation and management of the injured, medical and health services including referral services, water and sanitation services, provision of food and non-food items, and emergency shelter. More than 1,000 schools are feared to be affected, directly impacting approximately 19 per cent of students in Central Sulawesi.
In the aftermath of the deadly disaster, UNICEF is working with the local authorities in Indonesia to carry out humanitarian works as follows:
- Reuniting children with their families. UNICEF is already gearing up to provide support in tracing the families of children who have been separated from their parents.
- Feeding the youngest and most vulnerable. Already high rates of malnutrition in this region could get dangerously worse. We are working together with the Ministry of Health to support infant and young child feeding, assist breastfeeding mothers, and assess the ongoing needs of the survivors.
- Providing clean water. Access to clean water and proper sanitation is fundamental to preventing the spread of disease. In the absence of a well-functioning water system, UNICEF is planning to deploy several mobile water treatment plant units to the affected areas.
- Comforting traumatized children. UNICEF is prepared to provide psycho-social support to children in emergencies, giving them a Child-Friendly place to play and helping them get back to school as quickly as possible.
The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK) is calling on Hong Kong people to support our relief work to help the affected children and their families in Sulawesi.
Ms Jane Lau, Chief Executive of UNICEF HK said, “With each new report about this devastating earthquake and tsunami, our concern increases for the safety of children in Palu, Donggala and other sites hit by the disaster. We are doing everything it can to respond to this emergency, and would call on our donors and supporters to join us in giving help to those children and families whose lives and living are in distress by the disaster.”
To help affected children and families in Indonesia, please make online donation at https://www.unicef.org.hk/en/donate/?udpid=42159&udt=one_time_donation.
Donation for earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia:
Bank of China: 012-875-1-081085-5
Wing Lung Bank: 020-601-003-7635-2
Bank of East Asia: 015-260-81-01210-0
(In the unusual event that donations for earthquake and tsunami in Indonesia exceed the needs, we will direct your gift to disaster or emergency relief actions elsewhere.)
– END –
For more information, please contact:
Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF