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One million orphaned children in Haiti

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Just saw this article. The question is, how will we respond? Hundreds of thousands of other hungry and thirsty children are scattered among Port-au-Prince’s squatter camps of survivors, without protection against disease or child predators – often with nobody to care for them. “Th…
By Seth Barnes

Just saw this article. The question is, how will we respond?

swazmore5 1Hundreds of thousands of other hungry and
thirsty children are scattered among Port-au-Prince’s squatter camps of
survivors, without protection against disease or child predators –
often with nobody to care for them.

“There’s an
estimated 1 million unaccompanied or orphaned children or children who
lost one parent,” said Kate Conradt, a spokeswoman for the aid group
Save the Children. “They are extremely vulnerable.”

The
U.N. children’s agency, UNICEF, has established a special tent camp for
girls and boys separated from their parents in the Jan. 12 quake, and
who are in danger of falling prey to child traffickers and other
abusers. The Connecticut-based Save the Children has set up “Child
Spaces” in 13 makeshift settlements. The Red Cross and other groups are
working to reunite families and get children into orphanages.

The post-quake needs of Haiti’s children have
outrun available help. Some youngsters have been 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,” the U.N. humanitarian office said
in its latest situation report.

The plight of
the young is poignant even in a country where the U.N. estimates a
third of the 9 million population needs international assistance in the
quake’s aftermath. “We still have a huge distance to go,” said John
Holmes, the U.N. relief coordinator.

That was
evident in Port-au-Prince’s streets, alleys and crumbled doorways,
where handwritten messages begged for help. In the Juvenat
neighborhood, a group of 50 families hung a white sheet from a doorway,
with this plea scrawled in green: “We need food assistance, water and
medicine.”

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