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India: New disasters in India and Nepal add to Save the Children's massive relief efforts in Asia Pacific

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Source: Save the Children
Country: American Samoa, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Philippines (the), Samoa, Viet Nam
The past week has seen a considerable amount of disasters in the Asia Pacific region, and the recent flash flooding in Kamataka, India and severe landslides in Nepal have further intensified Save the Children's massive relief efforts in affected countries.

Save the Children has been working in the affected countries of Samoa, Philippines, Vietnam and Sumatra which have been subject to a wave of disasters that include three severe earthquakes, two powerful typhoons and a deadly tsunami. The development agency is now also responding to the flooding that has affected almost 900,000 children in Kamataka, and the landslides in Nepal that have wiped out or damaged almost 20,000 households.

Save the Children relief teams are reaching the most remote areas in the Asia Pacific region to deliver critical supplies. The additional devastation in India and Nepal has added to the organisation providing essential resources to those that are most affected in all emergencies within the Asia Pacific region.

"In some of the more devastated regions of Asia, we were the first to distribute critical supplies in the most urgent situations -- but these disasters have stretched our resources and we need additional support to help us reach the many thousands who are waiting for our help," said Carolyn Miles, Chief Operating Officer of Save the Children. "Now it is a race against time. With the rainy season looming, the spread of disease will further devastate these hard-hit areas."

Details of Save the Children's humanitarian response to the emergencies are listed below.

Nepal:

Torrential rain has caused major flooding and landslides in the western and far western parts of Nepal yesterday. Casualties as of October 7 are 37 deaths including 7 children. The total households affected are close to 20,000 and the number of villages is close to 60.

In the far west Save the Children has mobilised staff and partner NGOs to distribute relief supplies of food and non food items. In addition Save the Children is working closely with the Nepal Red Cross distributing relief items and medicines. A team of Save the Children staff have been deployed from Kathmandu to the affected areas to carry our comprehensive needs assessments to identify further response efforts.

Nepal contact: Sudarshan Shrestha, sudarshan.shrestha@savethechildren.org.np , +977 1 4229592

India:

Save the Children is assessing the needs of children and families in response to flash flooding in Karnataka, a southern state in India. The flooding has affected 1.83 million people -- 50 percent of those people are children, meaning up to 900,000 children have been affected.

The torrential rainfall that began a week ago caused the Krishna River to breach its banks. The torrent of water combined with the dry land created a flash flood that poured over dams, destroying tens of thousands of houses, inundating agricultural land and forcing families to flee with nothing. It is the highest volume of water in 45 years that the area has experienced.

"Almost 900,000 children have been affected by the floods and some areas are still being threatened by an overflowing river," said Hussein Halane, Save the Children's Senior Advisor for Humanitarian Accountability. "We are responding with immediate relief to children and their families by providing water purifiers, hygiene kits, clothes and food supplies, including additional nutrition for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers."

India Contacts:

Ray Kancharla, r.kancharla@savethechildren.in , +91 9818 792 326

Ana Rahona, arahona@savechildren.org , (202) 236-5341

Wendy Christian, wchristian@savechildren.org , (203) 241-9722

Samoa:

The deadly tsunami that swept ashore on American Samoa and Western Samoa washed out entire villages to sea. Children and families have been displaced and have lost all possessions. The Government of Samoa has now asked relief agencies to focus on recovery efforts following a comprehensive relief phase led largely by the Government, Samoa Red Cross and church group distributions.

Save the Children currently has three staff in country and are liaising with local partners, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Women Community and Social Development to assess the needs of children amid reports of psychosocial concerns of children.

Save the Children's child protection specialist has provided training sessions on psychosocial support to a group of local NGOs and further training will be provided to groups from Ministry of Health and Ministry of Women Community and Social Development over the coming days.

Samoa contact: Mike Frew (New Zealander), mike.frew@savethechildren.org.nz , +685 751 7693

American Samoa:

Recovery efforts are underway after a deadly earthquake and tsunami slammed into the Samoan Islands last week. Save the Children continues to coordinate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Red Cross to meet the urgent needs of children and families affected by this disaster.

"Although life is returning to normal for many survivors, most face a massive cleanup," said Josh Madfis, Save the Children's Child Protection Specialist in American Samoa. "The water is still not drinkable, and families living in shelters have an urgent need for baby supplies, including diapers and cribs."

American Samoa contact: Erica Viltz, eviltz@savechildren.org , +1 202 262-7171

Indonesia:

Following last week's deadly earthquakes, heavy rains and mudslides have made roads in the Pariaman district difficult to pass and consequently constrained service delivery. Nevertheless, Save the Children's relief teams are reaching children and families - 900 more as of today - with critical relief supplies.

In addition, Save the Children has made child protection a priority throughout Indonesia and has taken the lead to help open schools and set up Child Friendly Spaces, a safe place for children where they can receive counseling and return to their studies. Relief teams are preparing to set up 95 temporary schools and Child Friendly Spaces in the evacuation centers.

"While it's good that schools are being re-opened, they are in terrible condition, very unsafe and the children are dealing with horrible traumas," said Mark Fritzler, Save the Children's Country Director in Indonesia. "Many of the children are crying as they see more than half of their classmates are missing. It is just as critical for us to help rebuild the schools as it is to begin counseling services for the children."

Other urgent needs include clean water, for drinking and cooking, as well as shelter and hygiene supplies for those left injured and living in shelters. In particular, Save the Children is concerned with the spread of malaria with the beginning of the rainy season upon the country. Save the Children is distributing bed nets to children and families but more are needed.

Indonesia Contacts:

Kate Conradt, kconradt@savechildren.org , +1 202 3787952 +6281994940261

Jon Bugge, j.bugge@savechildren.org.uk , + 44 782 510 6625 or +6281994940261

Sonia Khush, skhush@savechildren.org , + 62 812 101 0463

Philippines:

Following two catastrophic back-to-back typhoons last week, critical supplies are needed in water-logged Philippines. Flood waters have not receded and remain a huge danger. Skin diseases and other water-borne illnesses have become a serious problem among children and families, especially those living in evacuation shelters where sanitation conditions are deplorable.

"Although we have distributed thousands of family hygiene and household kits, we are in desperate need of more supplies," said Latha Caleb, Save the Children Country Office Director for the Philippines. "Lack of sanitation systems and clean water threaten to result in widespread illness and disease. There is also a serious shortage of food."

In addition, many of the evacuation centers have been set up in school buildings, making it difficult to fully re-open schools for children. To help with the problem, the government established three shortened shifts for children, with some children having to trudge through flooded streets at night to get to their classes.

Save the Children has distributed over 6,000 kits of relief items, including clothing, blankets and hygiene supplies. Teams of staff have already set up Child Friendly Spaces, where children have a safe place to be during the day, and will continue to do so throughout the week.

Philippines Contacts:

Gia-Marie Chu, gchu@savechildren.org , + 639 178 590759

Latha Caleb, lcaleb@savechildren.org , + 639 175 332100

Vietnam:

The typhoon that slammed into Vietnam last week displaced as many as 150,000 people. Now the hard work begins to contain the threat of disease and help rebuild the country. Save the Children's aid workers have been slogging through flooded roads and mud to reach the children and families whose villages have been completely devastated by flash floods.

"Homes have collapsed like a deck of cards and hundreds of thousands have been left homeless, without power or clean water, and only a few days of food supplies," said Nick Finney, Save the Children's Response Manager in Vietnam. "Cases of diarrhea, malaria and other diseases have risen and some clinics are running out of medicines."

Vietnam Contact: Kathryn Rawe, k.rawe@savethechildren.org.uk , +44 7733 268 327

Save the Children is accepting all donations from the public for its responses in the Asia Pacific region.

DONATE NOW or call 0800 167 168

For further information for Save the Children New Zealand please contact Shelley McCarten, Communication Advisor, shelley.mccarten@savethechildren.org.nz / 04 381 7573 / 021 108 9131


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