TITLE=UNICEF / WEST TIMOR (L-ONLY)
INTRO: The United Nations Children's Fund, says it is
ready to step up delivery of vital health and
education services to more than 200-thousand East
Timorese refugees in West Timor. Lisa Schlein in
Geneva reports the agency says the refugees are living
in more than 40 crowded, squalid camps in West Timor.
TEXT: UNICEF says its most important task is
preventing diseases from breaking out. The Agency
says the overcrowded, unsanitary conditions of the
camps in West Timor are ideal breeding grounds for
UNICEF will soon begin, what it calls, rapid
vaccination programs to prevent an outbreak of measles
and other preventable diseases. The Agency says
immediate action must be taken before the start of the
monsoon season in six to eight-weeks. It says the
heavy rains are a health risk to children.
Lynn Geldof of UNICEF says getting access to the
children is a problem. But, she says aid workers are
in touch with the Indonesian authorities to make sure
they can reach all refugee children.
/// GELDOF ACT///
We are talking here, as I said, of a high number
of children. Forty-five-percent are under 15,
and of that, 17-percent would be under (age)
five. So we will be demanding that (access) as
a right, and working with the other agencies to
assure that access as best we can.
UNICEF is also preparing to set up informal schools in
the camps. It says education plays a crucial role in
helping to restore a sense of normalcy for children.
It notes that being with other children in a
structured setting helps to lessen the psychological
impact of having to flee their homes. School also
provides relief for parents.
Ms. Geldof says UNICEF will work with the Indonesian
government to ensure the rights of the refugee
children are protected.
/// GELDOF ACT///
To ensure unhindered access for children to
health and welfare services of aid
organizations, the right to remain united with
their families, and the right to a secure and
supportive environment free from abuse and
threats of violence.
UNICEF has been delivering relief supplies to the East
Timorese refugees in West Timor for the past four-
weeks. Ms. Geldof says the Agency is working with
women's groups, church groups, and local aid agencies
to follow-up nutritional and other programs after the
delivery of relief items. (SIGNED)
06-Oct-1999 11:18 AM EDT (06-Oct-1999 1518 UTC)
Source: Voice of America
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