UNICEF raises concern on children’s welfare

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) have raise concerns on the trauma, mental health disorders, depression and anxiety on children at the quake disaster province.

In a statement released , UNICEF said children are still in shock and suffering significant trauma and stress which could have negative consequences to their long-term well-being.

According to UNCEF PNG, children are still being confronted by fear, loss, confusion, family separation, deteriorated living conditions and disruption of social and school activities.

They raised the concern that psychological damage among children should not be overlooked as it can have a negative impact on children’s brain development, mental health and overall wellbeing in the long-run.

The Government estimates that 270,000 people are in need of urgent assistance, including 125,000 children.

Of those children, about 15-20 per cent require psychological support, according to the World Health Organization.

To date, UNICEF has already delivered 23 metric tons of relief supplies, including tents and tarpaulins, water purification tablets, hygiene kits and learning kits.

Some 12,000 packets of therapeutic food and vaccines to protect 31,700 children against the increasing risk of disease outbreak and malnutrition have also been delivered.

However, UNICEF also needs US$14.6 million to help children and families affected by the earthquake over the next year.

This will focus on providing clean water, sanitation and hygiene in temporary shelters, psycho-social support in safe places, vaccinations and malnutrition treatment and support for children to return to school.

Freddy Mou