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Critical Supplies Delivered to Quake Victims

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 10 OCTOBER 2005

Save the Children Delivers Critical Supplies to Earthquake Victims

Save the Children has swung into action to assist children and families injured and left homeless by the deadly earthquake that struck the subcontinent of South Asia on Saturday.

Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand John Bowis says the organisation launched emergency relief on the ground soon after the disaster struck, and is now distributing 900 tents and 1,000 family packs containing supplies in Pakistan, as well as launching an appeal for funds here in New Zealand.

John Bowis says emergency teams in Pakistan and India are focusing initially on meeting the immediate needs of survivors, including providing food, water, medicines and temporary shelter.

“The numbers of affected children are rising by the hour as the full horror of this earthquake becomes apparent,” he says. “With winter setting in, temperatures are dropping at night. It is very clear that there is an urgent need for shelter and food on a large scale. Quick delivery of aid will prevent further loss of life from exposure and disease.”

Within a few hours of the disaster, Save the Children’s local teams based in Islamabad and Srinagar started assessments in the surrounding areas worst affected by the disaster.

“We have been informed that assessment teams have been facing difficulties in getting through to remote areas due to landslides,” says Mr Bowis. “It took one team in Muzaffarabad five hours to reach a heavily populated area on foot as the roads have been destroyed. Helicopters are urgently needed to access remote areas, many of which have not yet been reached.”

In Pakistan, Save the Children is distributing the tents and “family packs” in the north-west frontier province. A “family pack” contains one tent, five blankets, plastic sheeting, five jerry cans and food for one family for a week; including flour, sugar, rice, tea, dhal channa, edible oil, salt, matches and water purification tablets. A cargo plane containing a further 5000 blankets, 250 rolls of plastic sheeting and 5000 jerry cans for water distribution is expected to arrive in Islamabad today.

In India, Save the Children emergency response and logistics experts are today surveying the destruction in Baramulla District. In the northern part of the district, Save the Children staff are reporting that about 80-90 percent of buildings are damaged or destroyed. Emergency aid to the value of 50,000 British Pounds is en route.

Save the Children has been working in India’s Jammu and Kashmir for the past 28 years and in Islamabad since 1985.

Save the Children New Zealand requests donations urgently via freephone 0800 167 168; by post to
PO Box 6584, Marion Square, Wellington; or online at www.savethechildren.org.nz. All donations are directed through to the International Save the Children Alliance-led emergency programme.

ENDS

Save the Children works for:
- a world which respects and values each child
- a world which listens to children and learns
- a world where all children have hope and opportunity.

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