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DATE=10/6/1999 TYPE=CORRESPONDENT REPORT TITLE=UNICEF / WEST TIMOR (L-ONLY) NUMBER=2-254717 BYLINE=LISA SCHLEIN DATELINE=GENEVA CONTENT= VOICED AT: 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 communicable diseases. 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. ///END ACT/// 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. ///END ACT/// 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) NEB/LS/GE/RAE 06-Oct-1999 11:18 AM EDT (06-Oct-1999 1518 UTC) NNNN Source: Voice of America .





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