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Ecuador: UNICEF Support To Young Flood Victims

Ecuador: UNICEF continues support to young victims of widespread flooding

3 April 2008 - The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) is continuing its relief efforts in Ecuador, where thousands of people are still living in temporary shelters in the wake of torrential rains and floods that have pummelled the country since the start of the year.

About 40 per cent of the displaced are children, UNICEF reported yesterday, adding that at least 14,000 Ecuadorians are currently living in shelters and schools because of the rain and floods, which have devastated cropland and killed around two dozen people.

The agency has begun a programme with the National Institute for Children and Family to provide emotional and psychological support to more than 10,000 children traumatized by the floods. Hundreds of volunteers have been trained and given backpacks containing recreational materials for young people.

UNICEF said it was also working with the Ecuadorian health ministry to provide chloride equipment, safe water, mattresses and insecticide-treated mosquito nets as part of efforts to prevent the spread of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.

Many people are currently living in the midst of what are effectively immense polluted lakes, with the only transportation being small wooden boats. The coastal lowlands have been the hardest hit by the weather this year and national authorities have warned that floods are likely to last through next month.

ENDS

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