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NZers urged not to forget cyclone survivors

New Zealanders urged not to forget cyclone survivors

Three months after Cyclone Nargis devastated Myanmar, Kiwis are being asked to dig a little deeper into their pockets to help those children and families trying to rebuild their lives.

So far, New Zealanders have donated close to $250,000 in response to Save the Children New Zealand's emergency appeal in May.

John Bowis, Executive Director of Save the Children New Zealand says: "We are delighted with this figure: it's indicative of Kiwis' generosity and empathy towards others when the chips are down.

"It's allowed our teams in the field to achieve a great deal in the past three months, but there is still so much more work to be done: children remain at risk of going hungry as parents struggle to earn enough to feed their families. The cyclone devastated the agriculture and fishing industries in the delta as paddy fields were flooded and boats and fishing equipment were destroyed.

"It will take years for these families to rebuild their lives so it's vital that Save the Children has enough funds to keep working."

In the weeks following the cyclone Save the Children was able to provide aid to more than half a million people, including 225,000 children. We distributed: • plastic sheeting for shelter to 100,000 families • 1.9 million kgs of rice • 96,000 sachets of diarrhoea treatment • 10,500 mosquito nets • 7,000 blankets • 14,000 bars of soap.

We also set up 78 safe play areas for around 8,000 children living in temporary shelters, camps and communities, and our five mobile health clinics treated around 10,000 patients.

Around 4,000 schools were damaged in the cyclone. Save the Children has been able to provide education for more than 50,000 students by helping to repair some of the damaged buildings, setting up 183 temporary schools, distributing school supplies and training teachers and volunteers.

"As our response moves into the rehabilitation phase we are concentrating our efforts on helping children get back to school and helping parents to start earning money again and looking after those children who were orphaned or separated by the cyclone," says John Bowis.

"Investing in livelihoods and helping families get back on their feet plays a key part in preventing childhood malnutrition and ill health."

Donations to Save the Children's Myanmar appeal can be made in several ways:

• call our donation line: 0800 167 168

• visit any one of Save the Children's shops across the country

• send a cheque, made out to Save the Children, to: Myanmar Appeal, Freepost PO Box 6584, Marion Square, Wellington.

ENDS

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