Save the Children staff are working around the clock to help children and families left reeling from the earthquake and tsunami that struck Sulawesi, Indonesia on September 28. Two weeks after the disaster struck, almost 79,000 people are displaced from their homes and there are growing fears that a health crisis is looming. We are providing immediate and critical support in the hardest-hit areas of Sulawesi, where our teams have already reached over 9,700 people – including more than 900 children – with clean water and essential hygiene and shelter supplies. We are also providing desperately-needed psychological and emotional support activities and family reunification procedures.
Given the expected long-term impact on children’s lives, our emergency response will continue over the course of the coming year. As we address the most urgent needs, we plan to reach a total of 160,000 people, 45,000 of whom are children.
Contingent on available resources, Save the Children has plans to support the affected population in the areas of education and health. We plan to:
Help children get back to their education. While some schools have re-opened, only 10% of them are actually operating. Thousands of schools were destroyed or damaged. Save the Children will support the Department of Education to get children back to school, repair damaged school buildings, establish temporary learning spaces with water/hygiene facilities, distribute school kits, and work with teachers to build psychological and emotional support activities into their curriculum.
Coordinate with local health service providers. Our health experts are beginning to see signs of emerging diseases in the evacuation sites – diarrhea, respiratory illnesses and fever – and will work to ensure proper messaging, outreach and service delivery.
Address nutrition needs in evacuation sites by counseling mothers with children under age 2 on best practices for infant and young child feeding. We will also support evacuation centers in the process of referring sick babies and high-risk pregnant women for the care they need.
Help families address their food needs and restore their economic livelihoods so they do not have to resort to harmful coping strategies that involve sending children to work. Our response will include distribution of cash grants and vouchers that will enable families to procure food and seeds / plants to restore damaged crops
It is absolutely critical that extra care and attention is paid to children and their families in the days, weeks and months ahead. Your generous support will help us scale up our immediate response and provide long-term programs in Sulawesi for as long as it takes to help children and families recover. Thank you.
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