BEIJING, May 17 /PRNewswire-Asia/ -- The United Nations announced today it is stepping up efforts to assist the people affected by last month's devastating Yushu earthquake. Several UN agencies are providing emergency relief assistance in the shelter, food, nutrition, health, education and sanitation sectors. These relief efforts are partly funded by a grant of US $4.7 million from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).
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"We have been impressed by the speed and magnitude of the government's response to the Yushu earthquake," said Renata Lok-Dessallien, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in China. "The UN aims to complement the government's relief efforts by providing relief material and stands ready to assist in reconstruction plans."
Yin Yin Nwe, UNICEF Representative and Chair of the UN Disaster Management Team in China said, "The assistance that the UN is currently delivering will help meet the needs of communities affected by this tragedy, especially the most vulnerable groups such as children, women and the elderly."
The UN system will use the funds to assist in the construction of resettlement shelters and the emergency rehabilitation of critical community infrastructure; to provide personal hygiene kits to women of reproductive age and the elderly; to support the psychosocial recovery of children and their return to schools; to assist emergency vaccination campaigns; to complement the government's food rations; and to provide essential medical equipment, rapid test kits and other health supplies identified by the Ministry of Health.
State media report that the official death toll stands at 2,220 with 70 people missing and 12,135 people injured. Government estimates put the total number of people affected at 265,000. The 7.1 magnitude earthquake also caused extensive damage to local houses, roads, health facilities, schools and administration buildings.