Aid yet to reach the needy: UN

Associated Press

United Nations, January 4:

The UN humanitarian chief said that even as pledges continued to pour in, aid had yet to reach many coastal areas in Sumatra, the worst hit region in the disaster.

Jan Egeland also warned that aid officials are witnessing the first indications of a rise in child mortality in those areas. “My heart goes out to those along the Sumatra coast because we are not even there and those are the hardest hit. Are they tens of thousands, are they hundreds of thousands that we are not reaching, I don’t know,” Jan Egeland said yesterday. “As we are getting in substantial relief finally to Aceh, we are concentrating our main attention to the western coast of northern Sumatra because we have not yet fully grasped I think, that this was the epicentre of the catastrophe,” he said. “We thought the epicentre was Banda Aceh. Now it is very clear it is Meulaboh and all the other places.”