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Daily Press Briefing by the Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General, 2 October 2018 - Indonesia

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The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs today said that the Indonesian Government has confirmed that 1,234 people have died following the earthquake and tsunami in Sulawesi last week.  Some 100 people are still missing and 800 have been seriously injured.  It is likely that these figures will increase as more areas become accessible.  The United Nations Resident Coordinator in Indonesia, Anita Nirody, said that the Government has significant experience and capacity to manage natural disasters, but given the scale and complexity of this emergency, combined with the response to the recent series of earthquakes in Lombok and the residual needs there, United Nations agencies and non‑governmental organizations (NGOs) are working closely with Government ministries to provide all necessary technical support.  United Nations agencies and others are already on the ground or are en route to the affected areas to provide assistance and to assess what is needed.  The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that needs are vast, and people urgently require shelter, clean water, food, fuel, emergency medical care and psychosocial support.  Water remains the main issue as most of the water supply infrastructure has been damaged.

As mentioned in yesterday’s briefing, the Government has welcomed specific offers of international assistance that are in line with identified humanitarian needs on the ground.  For its part, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is concerned for the safety of thousands of children in the wake of the disaster, which is affecting a vulnerable population, particularly vulnerable children.  The Indonesian Ministry of Social Affairs has requested UNICEF to deploy social workers to the affected area to support separated and unaccompanied children.  The World Health Organization (WHO), which is coordinating closely with the Ministry of Health, is warning that the lack of shelter and damaged water sanitation facilities could lead to outbreaks of diarrhoea and other communicable diseases.  The World Food Programme (WFP) is supporting the Government in distributing emergency supplies.  The WFP‑operated United Nations Humanitarian Response Depot in Subang Jaya, Malaysia, is on standby for aid partners who want to release stocks.

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