Up to 100,000 children displaced in Japan earthquake and tsunami, warns Save the Children

Japan, 14 March 2011 - Save the Children warns that up to 100,000 children have been displaced because of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

Stephen McDonald who is leading Save the Children's response said: "We are extremely anxious that up to 100,000 children have been displaced because of last Friday's earthquake and tsunami. Their homes may have been destroyed and many of them will be sheltering in crowded evacuation centres. We can only imagine how frightening the experience of the last few days will have been for them.

"There is also a risk that some of them will have become separated from their parents and family members because of the disaster. It is important we provide support to parents and children who are struggling to cope in the aftermath of the disaster."

Children who have spoken to Save the Children have talked of their fears of returning home, the fact that they are missing their friends and how desperate they are to go back to school. But for the meantime, many schools have been turned into temporary shelters for those displaced by the disasters, with children having to sleep in crowded classrooms along with many others.

Save the Children has a team in Sendai, one of the worst affected areas, establishing an operations base to help the most vulnerable children and their families. The teams will be setting up a network of child friendly spaces. Staffed by trained volunteers and furnished with toys and games, these spaces are safe havens for children to play and socialise with peers their own age, helping them recover from the trauma of the disaster they have just experienced. Save the Children is a leading expert in this field, operating child friendly spaces in major disaster zones around the world, including the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti, Italy and the floods in Pakistan.

Source: Relief Web

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