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Saturday, June 15
The Indiana Daily Student


Small survivors pose big problems

The smallest survivors of Haiti’s catastrophic earthquake are becoming one of the biggest problems in its aftermath.

Many of the thousands of children scattered among the makeshift camps of homeless have no one to care for them, aid workers say, leaving them without protection against disease, child predators and other risks.

“They are extremely vulnerable,” said Kate Conradt, spokeswoman for Save the Children.
She said United Nations experts estimate there could be 1 million unaccompanied or orphaned children or adolescents who lost at least one parent.

Some young Haitians are being released from hospitals with no one to care for them – there just aren’t enough beds.

“Health workers are being advised to monitor and send separated/unaccompanied children to child-friendly spaces,” said the U.N. humanitarian office in its latest situation report.

The U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, along with Save the Children and the Red Cross, has begun registering at-risk children and has identified three interim care centers at orphanages where they can be temporarily sheltered, said Bo Viktor Nylund, a senior UNICEF adviser.

Save the Children, meanwhile, has set up “Child Spaces” in 13 makeshift settlements.
The agencies are working to reunite families by creating a joint database of separated family members.

“Considering the number of people who died in the earthquake, we are expecting children in the thousands who have lost their parents,” Nylund said.

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