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150,000 children influenced by Ecuador quake: UNICEF

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UNITED NATIONS — At least 150,000 children have been influenced by April 16 earth quake in Ecuador, the strongest tremor to strike the Andean country in decades, according to initial estimates by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“We are in a race against time to protect children from disease and other risks common in such emergencies,” said Grant Leaity, the UNICEF representative in Ecuador, on Tuesday, Xinhua reported.

An earthquake of 7.8 magnitude on the Richter scale struck Ecuador April 16 night, killing at least 413 individuals and injuring more than 2,500 others, reports said.

According to the preliminary government reports, the earthquake damaged 119 schools, affecting 88,000 children. Some 805 buildings have been destroyed and 608 have been damaged. Two hospitals have entirely collapsed in Portoviejo and Chone.

In some of the worst hit areas, mudslides are causing further damage to infrastructure and hindering access of relief teams and supplies. Some cities are still without full power and only 40 percent of communication lines are working.

UNICEF is concerned about health, water and sanitation conditions in the coastal areas, which are already considered hotspots for Zika, Dengue, Malaria and Chikungunya.

UNICEF teams are in Pedernales and Esmeraldas — two of the hardest hit areas — assessing children’s needs and coordinating the response.

Ecuador, which has declared a state of emergency in six provinces, has mobilised around 14,000 army and public security personnel in affected areas.

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NC consults experts on govt’s policies and programs

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KATHMANDU — The main opposition party, Nepali Congress, has taken suggestions from experts regarding the government’s policies and programs.

A meeting of the Nepali Congress parliamentary party convened at the parliamentary party’s office in Singha Durbar today consulted with the economists and former bureaucrats on the policies and programs of the government.

The government presented its policies and programs for the fiscal year 2018/19 in the Federal Parliament on Monday.

Deliberations will be held on the policies and programs in the House of Representatives and the National Assembly from Wednesday.

NC leader Dilendra Prasad Badoo, talking to the National News Agency, RSS, said that the meeting reviewed the government’s policies and programs and also discussed on issues the party would speak on in parliament.

Before this, the Nepali Congress had decided to put its views in parliament by forming thematic committees.

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