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Keeping Fiji’s Children Free of Disease

Keeping Fiji’s Children Free of Disease in Flood Affected Areas

SUVA, 22 December 2009 –A week after category 2 Cyclone Mick hit major islands of the Fiji Islands group, the threat of water borne disease still exists. In response, UNICEF is working to provide affected communities with the knowledge and facilities needed to access safe drinking water and practice hygienic behaviours.

In partnership with the Ministry of Squatter Resettlement, Red Cross, Central Division Disaster Management Assistance Committee (DISMAC), Live and Learn and the Fiji Water Foundation, UNICEF has committed US$94,000 to transport safe water to affected sites, help individuals and families get this water into their homes, and ensure individuals and families practice behaviours which maintain safe water and hygiene.

UNICEF is also providing collapsible water containers, water purifying tablets, soap and written information materials promoting key hand washing, breastfeeding and sanitation and hygiene behaviours to the affected population.

UNICEF estimates that at least 17,500 people in the Rewa River Delta were affected by severe flooding causing extensive damage in housing areas, water mains and water supplies.

(See attached file: Press release_Fiji Cyclone Mick FINAL Dec 22.doc)

For more information, please contact Donna Hoerder, Communications Specialist – External Relations, on telephone/ fax numbers below.

ENDS

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