30 December 2009

In Indonesia, World Vision calls for the prioritisation of children’s basic needs

  1. The rubble of destroyed houses in the village of Lima Koto, Padang, after the earthquake in Indonesia's West Sumatra province. 2 October 2009. © Reuters/Erik de Castro courtesy of www.alertnet.org
  2. A woman sits in the ruins of her earthquake-damaged house in Pariaman, a coastal town in Indonesia's West Sumatra province October 2, 2009. © Reuters/Crack Palinggi courtesy of www.alertnet.org
  3. A family sleeps outside after fleeing their home in Padang, Indonesia, following a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. 2 October 2009. © Reuters/ Enny Nuraheni courtesy of www.alertnet.org
  4. Indonesian women wait to identify bodies at a hospital in Padang, West Sumatra, after a powerful earthquake killed over 1,000 people. October 2, 2009. ©Reuters/Dadang Tri courtesy of www.alertnet.org
  5. Villagers stand among the rubble of destroyed houses in Lima Koto, Padang, after a 7.6 magnitude earthquake hit Indonesia's West Sumatra province. 2 October 2009. © Reuters/Erik de Castro courtesy of www.alertnet.org
  6. A  survivor gives directions to a rescue team during a search for bodies after a hotel collapse in Padang, Indonesia, following a 7.6 magnitude earthquake. © Reuters/Enny Nuraheni courtesy of www.alertnet.org

6 October 2009

As school children in Indonesia's West Sumatra quake zone were called back to school today, World Vision says these thousands of children affected by last week’s earthquake remain the disaster's most vulnerable survivors.

World Vision is calling on the Indonesian government and other humanitarian organisations to prioritise relief efforts that meet the urgent physical and psycho-social needs of children in the quake zone. The most urgent needs include clean water and safe places to play and begin learning again.

“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 Amelia Merrick, Operations Director for World Vision in Indonesia.

"It's absolutely critical that emergency response teams make children's unique needs a priority. Even though the ground has stopped shaking, the West Sumatra quake's youngest survivors still face a daily struggle, both physically and psychologically.”

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. Fallen buildings, destroyed homes, and flooded paths or waterholes continue to pose safety hazards to children who are left unsupervised.

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. Fallen buildings, destroyed homes, and flooded paths or waterholes continue to pose safety hazards to children who are left unsupervised.

As part of a 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 what they have experienced, and receive informal education.

You can read more about World Vision’s relief efforts in Indonesia here.