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UNICEF Sends Emergency Supplies to Santa Cruz Islands

UNICEF Sends Emergency Supplies to Santa Cruz Islands

Suva, 8 February 2013 – Pre-positioned emergency supplies in Honiara, Solomon Islands were sent to the Santa Cruz Islands yesterday, as part of the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) support to those affected by the 8.0–magnitude earthquake that triggered a tsunami on Wednesday 6th February.

The emergency supplies sent include:
• 350 Water and Sanitation (WASH) kits which include 2x10 litre containers, purification tablets and soap,
• 100 (4x5mtre) tarpaulins,
• 20 tents which will provide shelters for 700 people
• 6 packs of 50 purification tablets to provide clean drinking water for a family of 6 persons for several weeks.

In expressing her concern, UNICEF Pacific Deputy Representative, Ms. Isabelle Austin said “our thoughts are with the people affected in Santa Cruz Islands, especially their children and UNICEF stands ready to provide further relief and support.”

She added that “the issue of clean and safe water, as well as proper hygiene is always a concern for us during disasters hence the disbursement of WASH kits and purification packs. Outbreaks such as diarrhoea and skin infections often occur if water is not treated or purified. The use of these supplies will to some extent hinder the spread of disease and illness.”

“There are reports that schools have been affected therefore, the tents and tarpaulins serve as temporary shelters or learning spaces for children,” she said.

Along with its partners, UNICEF is working closely with the Government of Solomon Islands to respond swiftly and effectively to the crisis.

UNICEF staff have joined the initial assessment teams that were dispatched to Santa Cruz for the collection of information.

Three villages have been flattened by the tsunami, nine people are reported dead and dozens are still missing.

“We await more information from the assessment teams to provide further support to the Government and people affected in Solomon Islands,” said Ms. Austin.

ENDS

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