Gulf Coast Floods Children's Relief Fund
Tanya Weinberg 202.247.6610 (M)
Baton Rouge, LA (August 15, 2016) — Save the Children is deploying an emergency response team to Baton Rouge to establish Child-Friendly Spaces in emergency shelters and assess children’s most urgent needs in the wake of severe flooding in southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi.
"Thousands of children have been forced from their homes into shelters and many may have no home to return to anytime soon," said Sarita Fritzler, Save the Children’s emergency team leader. "Children are the most vulnerable when disaster strikes and it’s critical that their unique needs are addressed from the outset during emergencies like these terrible floods. We’re working closely with long-term local partners to make sure children are protected and cared for amidst the turmoil they and their families are experiencing."
Save the Children mounted a major response after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and has served 1 million U.S. children affected by emergencies since then — including subsequent hurricanes in the Gulf Coast region. The organization also runs long-term education programs for children in high-poverty rural areas, including Head Start, early learning and literacy programs in the wider impact areas of Louisiana and Mississippi.
Save the Children’s local staff in Louisiana and Mississippi are currently working to verify the safety of children they serve, and also working to avert the destruction of two of the organization’s Head Start centers in Jefferson Davis Parish, Louisiana, which has been inundated in the floods. Save the Children’s education programs work to give children living in poverty opportunities to succeed in school and life that they might otherwise never have.
More than 20,000 people have been rescued and at least four deaths have been confirmed as a result of severe flooding that hit southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi over the weekend. The Weather Channel is reporting that more than 4 trillion gallons of water fell in southern Louisiana between Friday and Sunday. Both Louisiana and Mississippi are under a state of emergency. Numerous schools are closed, homes and buildings are destroyed and roads and bridges are impassable.
Save the Children gives children in the United States and around the world a healthy start, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We invest in childhood — every day, in times of crisis and for our future. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.