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Save the Children alleviates the plight of 1000s


Save the Children alleviates the plight of thousands

NZ spokesman available in Bam

With the official death toll in earthquake-stricken Bam now in excess of 30,000, Save the Children is working hard to identify how many children were separated from their families or orphaned in the path of destruction.

A child protection team has arrived in Bam and is helping local authorities to ensure vulnerable children are properly cared for - ideally reunited with family or placed only temporarily in institutions.

Save the Children Media Officer, New Zealander Brendan Paddy, speaking from Bam today, said that the majority of homes have been destroyed and all are uninhabitable, but the damage extends further than the ancient city.

“18,000 houses have been reported destroyed in the 250 communities surrounding Bam,” he said. “Almost as many as in Bam itself.”

Meanwhile, the relief, recovery and early rehabilitation needs of thousands of homeless families are due for release tomorrow, when the UN launches its Flash Appeal. Two flights of bureaucrats, politicians, journalists and others are expected to fly in at 9am local time, with the launch slated for 2.30pm.

The Appeal will complement existing relief efforts by Save the Children, the Iranian Red Crescent and other humanitarian organisations in the area.

Save the Children has airlifted 1000 family-sized winter tents, 10,000 heavy blankets and 1000 cooking sets into Bam, which are being distributed to families whose homes were destroyed by the quake. “Some families have received tents but many families are sharing and others are still without shelter in -5 degree temperatures at night,“ said Mr Paddy.

“The distribution will include one tent and one cooking set per family, two blankets per person and children’s clothes if there is sufficient. We need to reach more than 2000 vulnerable people.”

Save the Children has launched an international appeal for $1.75 million to provide further shelter and household items, to support health services, to restart schooling and to help protect young earthquake victims from harm.

Save the Children requests donations urgently via the donation line 0800 167 168; by post to PO Box 6584, Marion Square, Wellington; or online at http://www.savethechildren.org.nz

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