For Immediate Release
August 29, 2007
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WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the second anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Children’s Defense Fund President Marian Wright Edelman issued the following statement about the continued neglect and abandonment of Katrina’s children:
“It is a national scandal that many children are still plagued by the trauma of their horrific experiences of survival in the aftermath of the storm. Tens of thousands of children suffer from disorientation and isolation. Children living in the most flood-damaged areas of New Orleans still have severely limited access to health and mental health care, and the schools they attend are understaffed and poorly equipped. The story of New Orleans is illustrative of the broad unmet needs throughout much of the region.
“Depressed, even suicidal, parents and children are still packed like sardines into cramped, flimsy, often unsafe trailers in camps next to nowhere. The education infrastructure is far from being repaired, with many school-age children still not back in school. While the government fails to fulfill its promises, untold numbers of children are falling farther and farther behind.”
In March, the Children’s Defense Fund issued Katrina’s Children: Still Waiting, an update of the 2006 report Katrina’s Children: A Call to Conscience and Action. Still Waiting reported:
- About 100,000 children still do not live where they did when the hurricane struck;
- Only 55 public schools in New Orleans were open as of December 2006, 43 percent of the pre-Katrina number;
- Before the hurricane, there were 3,200 physicians in Orleans Parish and surrounding parishes; CDF’s report found only about 1,200 physicians there now.
For more information about children in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, or to read either of the Katrina’s Children reports, visit www.childrensdefense.org/publications.