MISSISSAUGA, ON, Nov. 15, 2013 /CNW/ - Concern is growing about the
welfare of children who are among the most vulnerable victims in a
disaster. Out of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan, estimates put the
number of children at roughly 40% of the total.
Due to the high death toll, many children are feared to be alone and
separated from parents or other caregivers.
Separated children face many challenges in emergencies:
Increased violence due to a lack of shelter, cramped quarters and a lack
The potential of sexual abuse;
Being lost and ignored, largely missing out on aid efforts, because they
have no identification documentation;
And coping with severe distress as they try to find the means to
survive, while at the same time, try to make sense of what happened to
them and their loved ones.
"Without protection from family or friends, separated children, in
particular, are at great risk," says Canadian Cheryl Hotchkiss, Senior
Advocacy Manager with World Vision. "World Vision is working to set up
safe spaces for children in evacuation centres but the magnitude of the
problem requires a holistic response from the Government of
Philippines, UN agencies, and donor governments to make sure that these
children don't slip through the cracks."
World Vision is prioritizing children in the immediate relief efforts
given that their vulnerability is likely to increase as the crisis
continues. Along with much needed emergency supplies, World Vision has
sent 30 large tents to house child-friendly spaces where children can
play, take part in informal learning and have a chance to return to
some semblance of a routine.
"First aid for kids means not only a physical response but a
psychological one as well," adds Hotchkiss, "Our teams are seeing
psychosocial distress and meeting those needs for children will set the
groundwork for how well they recover from such a horrific experience."
Canadians wishing to support the emergency response in the Philippines
can donate by clicking on www.worldvision.ca or by calling 1-866-595-5550.
The Canadian government has announced a Typhoon Haiyan Relief Fund.
Through this fund, the government will set aside one dollar for every
eligible dollar donated by individual Canadians to World Vision Canada
or other registered Canadian charities between Nov 9th and Dec 9th,
World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy
organization dedicated to working with children, families and
communities to overcome poverty and injustice. World Vision serves all
people regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender. Visit our
News Centre at worldvision.ca.
SOURCE: World Vision Canada
For further information:
For interviews contact: Marie Bettings at 416-877-8544, firstname.lastname@example.org and Britt Hamilton at 416-419-1321, email@example.com