HONG KONG, 11 September 2012 — The earthquake at Yiliang county in Yunnan on 7 September killed 81 persons and more than 200,000 persons are now in urgent need of relocation. UNICEF expressed concern about the children affected by the disaster and will be working with National Working Committee on Children and Women under the State Council (NWCCW) to set up Child-friendly Spaces near the county. UNICEF also appeals for donations from Hong Kong citizens to support the relief work.
|Yiliang county is very remote and hard to reach, according to UNICEF, which has existing projects on maternal child health and poverty in the county. Existing heath indicators point out high stunting, poor immunisation and low antenatal care coverage of the region.
According to the Government, 81 people died after the 5.7-magnitude quake. Over 6,500 houses collapsed, affecting 1,900 families. Another 345,500 houses have been moderately or seriously damaged, affecting more than 250,000 families. A total of 201,000 persons are now displaced. Initial reports also indicated most of the children are unable to attend school, after 517 schools were damaged. Besides, 50 hospital rooms and healthcare facilities collapsed, and 340 health facilities have been damaged. 10 water supply tanks, 2,200 water cellars, six large division facilities and 13 channels 2,300 metres long were damaged.
UNICEF recognizes the most urgent and challenging need to support the psycho-social needs of children whose lives have been severely traumatised by the disaster. Therefore, UNICEF is co-operating with NWCCW to set up Child-friendly Spaces near Yiliang county. In such spaces, children could find comfort in songs and games with other children.
Child-friendly Space is a measure to protect children in emergency situations. Following the Wenchuan earthquake in 2008, UNICEF and NWCCW set up a network of 40 Child-friendly Spaces in Sichuan to deliver urgent services for children and families. Today most of the original Child Friendly Spaces have become permanent community-based centres for supporting vulnerable children.
“During emergencies, children are especially vulnerable. Besides providing emergency supplies, we should pay attention on the psychological needs of children. By setting up Child-friendly Spaces, children can quickly resume their normal lives in a well protected area. They have a place to learn, play and continue their education without being affected by the disaster,” Ms Irene Chan, Chief Executive of Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF said, “We hope Hong Kong public will support the relief work, so that children can recover from the traumatic experiences during and after the earthquake.”
Donation for Yiliang County, Yunnan Province:
|Direct Bank- in:||
|Cheque:||Payable to ‘Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF’
(Please send us the cheque with personal details with remark ‘Yunnan’ at the back,
and send to ‘Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, 3/F, 60 Blue Pool Road, Happy Valley, Hong Kong.’)
|PPS:||Please use your contact number as the bill number.
Press UNICEF merchant code: 6012, and then select bill type 3 “emergency”.
(In the unusual event that donations to the Yiliang county in Yunnan exceed the needs, we will direct your gift to children in greatest need elsewhere.)