As the tragedy unfolds in Haiti, some relief agencies are expressing concern about the way that children have been affected by the disaster.

The earthquake that struck last Tuesday afternoon is described as the country's worst in 200 years.


Children are often the first to perish during a natural disaster and they are also particularly vulnerable in the chaos that ensues.

Relief agencies are worried about the possibility of an orphan crisis; even before last week's earthquake there were 380,000 orphans in Haiti.

Given the sight of so many children wandering the streets looking for their families, aid workers warn that up to two million of them could be at risk of becoming orphaned.

Besides the trauma of disaster and separation from their parents the children face the risk of disease and neglect.

How will the country's most vulnerable victims cope? What is being done for them?

Anand Naidoo is joined by Patrick McCormick, the emergency communications officer for UNICEF, and Lisa Laumann, the associate vice president of Save the Children, a charity.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Tuesday, January 19, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera