KATHMANDU, Nepal/NEW YORK, 26 April 2015 – At least 940,000 children living in areas severely affected by yesterday's earthquake in Nepal are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance, says UNICEF. The 7.9 magnitude earthquake on 25 April, and nearly 60 aftershocks, caused vast devastation across much of the country, including more than 2,000 deaths and widespread destruction of buildings.
There have been reports of dwindling supplies of water and food, power outages, and downed communication networks. Hundreds of thousands of people spent the night sleeping in open areas, out of fear of more tremors. Heavy rain is now also reported which can further worsen the conditions. This crisis leaves children particularly vulnerable - limited access to safe water and sanitation will put children at great risk from waterborne diseases, while some children may have become separated from their families.
UNICEF is mobilizing staff and emergency supplies to meet the urgent humanitarian needs of children affected by the earthquake, focusing on water and sanitation, nutrition, education and child protection. UNICEF is already supporting tankering of water and provision of oral rehydration salts and zinc supplements to people gathered in informal settlements, and providing tents for field medical facilities, using supplies already prepositioned in the country.
UNICEF is also readying two cargo flights with a combined 120 tonnes of humanitarian supplies including medical and hospital supplies, tents and blankets, for urgent airlift to Kathmandu.
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