World Vision: children's basic needs still not being met in Indonesia

    -  Schools resume in Indonesia's quake zone, but World Vision says
       children in hardest-hit areas remain at risk
    -  World Vision to open 13 child-friendly spaces to help children recover
       from the quake
    -  Relief, development and advocacy organization calls on Indonesian
       government to prioritize its relief efforts to provide for children
<p>PADANG, <location>Indonesia</location>, <chron>Oct. 5</chron> /CNW/ - As school children in Indonesia's West Sumatra quake zone were called back to school on Monday, World Vision says the thousands of children affected by last week's earthquake remain the disaster's most vulnerable survivors.</p>
<p>The organization is actively calling on the government of <location>Indonesia</location> and other humanitarian actors to prioritize relief efforts that meet the urgent physical and psychosocial needs of children in the quake zone. The most urgent needs include clean water and safe places to play and begin learning again, the agency said.</p>
<p>"From the terror of aftershocks to the vulnerability of their immune systems to the need to have a normal routine, children's vulnerabilities are magnified in a disaster like this," said <person>Amelia Merrick</person>, Operations Director for World Vision in <location>Indonesia</location>. "It's absolutely critical that emergency response teams make children's unique needs a priority. The ground continues to shake and the West Sumatra quake's youngest survivors still face a daily struggle, both physically and psychologically."</p>
<p>Because of unsanitary conditions and lack of clean water or disinfectant, even minor injuries sustained in a disaster can become life-threatening without medical attention. In addition, fallen buildings, destroyed homes and flooded paths or waterholes continue to pose safety hazards to children who are left unsupervised. Children need appropriate food, adequate water and sanitation, and shelter as soon as possible. Without these basics, children's immunity against disease will be vastly reduced.</p>
<p>As part of its 90-day emergency response plan, World Vision will open 13 child-friendly spaces - nine in Padang Pariaman and four in Kota Padang. Child-friendly spaces are structured, safe places where children can play with other children, relax in a safe place, learn basic skills to cope with the shocks and losses they have experienced, and receive informal education. The spaces are designed to provide psychosocial support to children after a disaster or conflict.</p>
<p>The child-friendly spaces are run by community volunteers who receive training on child protection practices and psychosocial support skills from World Vision staff. The aid group has successfully established child-friendly spaces in several recent disasters, including <location>Myanmar</location>, Darfur, and <location>Pakistan</location>.</p>
<p>In addition, World Vision's relief workers are distributing nearly 1,100 family kits throughout Padang and Padang Pariaman districts. The kits include items like blankets, soap, and tarpaulins. The team will also distribute more than 4,000 collapsible water containers to families in Padang Pariaman. The agency is appealing for US$2 million to scale up its response and said the costs could increase once the full extent of the needs are known. World Vision aims to provide 10,000 households with emergency supplies.</p>
<p>World Vision is accepting donations to assist those affected by the earthquake and also Southeast Asian countries affected by Typhoon Ketsana and Typhoon Parma. Those wishing to help can visit or call 1-800-268-5528.</p>
    -  World Vision has been working in Indonesia for 50 years. The
       organization works in 700 villages spreading from Nanggroe Aceh
       Darussalam to Papua provinces. World Vision donors support more than
       90,000 children through its programs, including 25,455 children
       supported by Canadians. World Vision does not have long-term community
       development programs where sponsored children reside in the Pandang

    -  In the Philippines, World Vision is distributing relief goods to those
       affected by Typhoon Ketsana in and around Manila and to those affected
       by Typhoon Parma in Northern Luzon. The organization is aiming to
       reach 20,000 families (100,000 people) around Manila and 3,500
       families in Northern Luzon.

    -  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.

For further information: For further information: To interview World Vision staff, please contact Yoko Kobayashi, (905) 565-6200 ext. 2151, (416) 671-0086 (cell),

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