29 October 2010 The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is sending relief supplies to support the Indonesian Government’s humanitarian effort following the eruption of the Mount Merapi volcano and the tsunami that affected communities in the country’s Mentawai Islands earlier this week.
After a rapid assessment by UNICEF in the Merapi area, the agency sent jerry cans, household hygiene kits and water storage containers to meet the needs of up to 4,500 families displaced from their homes by the volcanic eruption on Tuesday.
In West Sumatra, UNICEF is sending 6,000 bed nets to protect families against malaria, following Monday night’s earthquake that sent tidal waves into the Mentawai Islands, destroying homes in an area where malaria is endemic.
UNICEF is also working with the Indonesian health ministry to ensure that breastfeeding mothers affected by the double natural disasters continue caring for their infants, and that donations of infant formula or other complementary foods are properly regulated to avoid risks to babies’ health.
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