In February 2018, A series of massive earthquakes tore through Papua New Guinea and left thousands of children in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Families lost their homes, water sources, health facilities and the gardens they relied on for food. 125,000 children were left in immediate need of life-saving assistance.
Douglas was struck on the head by falling rocks when the massive earthquake triggered a landslide. © UNICEF/Mepham/2018
On top of this, the humanitarian situation in Papua New Guinea continued to deteriorate with a public health emergency due to an outbreak of polio. UNICEF is supporting the government to respond to the outbreak and procurring over a million oral polio vaccines. In the first of four vaccination rounds, some 306,000 children had been vaccinated.
UNICEF has been on the ground in Papua New Guinea for many years and was prepared to respond in the immediate aftermath of the earthquake and landslides.
In the weeks after the earthquake, UNICEF reached the children and families worst affected critical clean water, food, shelter and healthcare. Destroyed transport infrastructure made it difficult to deliver life-saving supplies but UNICEF supporters made sure we left no child behind.
This family and their neighbours were lucky to escape when an earthquake collapsed their homes in Mendi and forced two boys to leap from their bedroom window.
Together with our supporters and the Papua New Guinea government, UNICEF reached:
- Provide therapeutic food for malnourished children.
- Procure 4 million doses of polio vaccines.
- Deliver water purification tablets and hygiene kits to prevent outbreaks of disease that thrive in emergency conditions.
- Set up safe spaces where children can rest, play and recover.
- Give psychosocial care to help children cope with the profound stress of losing their homes and family members.
UNICEF is still working to meet the needs of the children of Papua New Guinea and we’ll be there as long as they need us. You can still support children in Papua New Guinea.
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PNG Children's Earthquake Response
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