Unicef ready to return to Hela

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Unicef is preparing to resume response and recovery support to earthquake-affected communities in Hela.
Conflict and violence had forced Unicef aid and relief workers, and other UN agencies to briefly relocate in April as a security precautionary measure.
Over 115,000 children under the age of 18, including some 32,000 under five years.
Close to 8000 infants are expected to directly benefit from health, nutrition, education, child protection, water, sanitation and hygiene activities that Unicef will support the Government to implement in Hela.
At a review meeting held on June 8 with local partners – Catholic Diocese of Mendi, Southern Highlands Provincial Health Authority, Caritas, provincial child and family welfare services and the provincial education department – Unicef reiterated its commitment to fulfill its humanitarian obligations to the children of Hela and Southern Highlands.
“We are happy to be able to go back to Hela where we will continue to work with the Government and our partners to provide much-needed assistance to the children who desperately need help,” Unicef representative David Mcloughlin said after the review meeting.
“We have been working together since the earthquakes devastated communities and destroyed livelihoods. We intend to continue our support.”
Mcloughlin said a two-month integrated child health campaign planned to kick off in mid-July would provide immunisation and nutrition services for children.
The establishment of child friendly spaces will offer psycho-social support to children who have been traumatised by the earthquakes. “Children from badly damaged schools will be able to continue their education through temporary learning spaces that we will support our partners to set up,” Mcloughlin said.
“We will also provide water tanks and construct ventilated improved pits (Vip) latrines in these schools to promote good hygiene and sanitation practices,” he said.

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