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홍수와 산사태로 모든걸 잃은 엘살바도르 어린이 이스마엘 이야기

2009.12.30

* Salvadoran floods test resilience of families and effectiveness of aid
* 시간: 02 min 50 secs
* 촬영도시: La Libertad, San Vicente, San Salvador
* 촬영국가: El Salvador
* 촬영일자: 02 Dec 2009


Ismael Linares puts a brave face on the story of how his family lost everything in the floods and landslides that struck El Salvador in November. Here in the tiny hamlet of Melara, rocks and barren ground are all that remain of the houses where the 13-year-old and his relatives lived.


Heavy rains from Hurricane Ida battered five Salvadoran provinces, including La Libertad, where Melara is located.


SOUNDBITE, Ismael, 13 years old (Spanish):
"My grandmother's house was also wrecked. There's no kitchen. There's nothing. Today, the displaced residents of Melara are living in a nearby shelter – the school that Ismael attends. 75,000 Salvadorans had to flee their homes when floodwaters rose quickly in the early morning hours of November 8. 200 died. A month later, nearly 6,000, many of them children, are still living in shelters.


SOUNDBITE, Emma Rojas, shelter manager (Spanish):
"I have three little boys here who are two, three and four months old. The rest are anywhere from two to 12 years old."


In the floods' immediate aftermath, UNICEF delivered hygiene supplies and 250,000 litres of bottled water to families desperately in need. UNICEF also distributed 3,500 kits with household items for families whose belongings had been buried in mud or washed away.


SOUNDBITE, Emma Rojas, shelter manager (Spanish):
"Most of the people here have no home to return to. Their houses are completely buried."


But even as their basic needs are met, many children are still fearful and insecure. To help relieve their stress, UNICEF is providing special counselling and recreation materials. Play activities in the shelters are designed to help children regain a sense of normalcy.


Now, UNICEF and its partners are turning towards reconstruction. With hundreds of homes destroyed and thousands damaged, building permanent housing for displaced families will be a major challenge. And much more international funding is needed.


SOUNDBITE, UNICEF Rep. in El Salvador Miriam de Figueroa:
"We propose, through the flash appeal, to support the country through the rehabilitation of the water system, the hygiene and the sanitation that were really affected by the emergency."


Meanwhile, Ismael remains at the shelter in La Libertad. When classes resume in January, the shelter will be converted back into a school. Along with all the others now taking refuge in school buildings, Ismael's family will have to find someplace else to live – once again testing the resilience

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