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UNICEF mourns death of 100 children in Indonesia earthquake




THE United Nations Children Fund (UNICEF) said it is mourning the loss of 100 children to the 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Cianjur, West Java, Indonesia, and providing support for families devastated by the disaster.

The agency said in a statement on Friday, November 25, that the latest official figures on the tragedy, which toppled a densely-populated area and left many buildings in ruins, showed that 100 children under 15 years old had died.

The children casualties make up 37 per cent of the 272 persons confirmed to have been killed. 

Reports showed that 2,046 persons were injured, 39 others were missing, and 62,882 people were displaced, UNICEF said.  

Besides, damage assessments show that 45 schools were affected in the earthquake area, and an estimated 18 students and five teachers were among the casualties.

According to the organisation, 267 students and ten teachers were injured in the disaster on Monday.    

“Humanitarian needs in affected areas are expected to mount, as ongoing search and rescue operations reveal the true toll and scale of need. In an emergency, children and families that have lost loved ones, been displaced, or injured, urgently need shelter, clean water, medical care and protection.  

“The Government of Indonesia is leading the emergency response to address these and other challenges facing children and communities. UNICEF and partners are supporting these efforts to help determine the most pressing needs of children and their families.”

Some of the Indonesian government and UNICEF’s supplies to the affected people include educational materials such as tents for temporary learning spaces, “school-in-a-box” with pens, notebooks and pencils, and early childhood development kits with age-appropriate games, drawing supplies and toys. 

The supplies are expected to benefit an estimated 2,500 children. The agency stressed that the government is also distributing material provided by UNICEF to support children dealing with emotional distress and trauma from the earthquake’s impact.   

UNICEF said it was ready to provide additional support to help reach and protect children in the affected area. 

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Marcus bears the light, and he beams it everywhere. He's a good governance and decent society advocate. He's the ICIR Reporter of the Year 2022. Contact him via email @ mfatunmole@icirnigeria.org.

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