Education at risk for thousands of children after successive earthquakes in Mexico

 

Education at risk for thousands of children after successive earthquakes in Mexico

On 9 September 2017 in Oaxaca, Mexico, adolescent volunteers from San Blas Atempa help to remove debris and clear the streets of San Mateo del Mar affected by the earthquake.

On 7 September at 11:49 pm, an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.1 on the Richter scale struck Mexico’s coast of Chiapas, which heavily affected neighbouring state Oaxaca and slightly affected other parts of the country, including Mexico City. More than 120 municipalities in Chiapas and 41 others in Oaxaca have been declared under a state of emergency.  The Ministry of Education declared that all schools are closed in the capital and in the affected areas. Some schools were reported to be damaged in the two most affected states. Hospitals in Chiapas and Oaxaca have been severely affected and according to the Ministry of Health patients were evacuated and the Children’s Hospital and Regional Hospital of Chiapas were closed. At least 8 hospitals in total were damaged in Chiapas. Over two million children live in the 166 municipalities that have been declared under a state of emergency by the Mexican Government, and it is crucial for them to resume their normal lives as soon as possible following the 8.1 magnitude earthquake.

On 9 September 2017, UNICEF sent three Rapid Assessment Teams to the Mexican states of Chiapas and Oaxaca to assess the situation of children affected by the 8.2 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on 7 September 2017 and determined that it is a matter of priority for children and adolescents to receive psychosocial support and all the necessary help to return to school as soon as possible. The Mexican authorities have the institutional capacity to ensure that children resume their schooling through mobile classrooms in the case of those schools that have suffered damages, and UNICEF is ready to support their efforts through its School in a Box programme, which the organisation implements in emergency situations at global level. UNICEF will present a full p

© UNICEF/UN0120076/Solís

On 9 September 2017 in Oaxaca, Mexico, adolescent volunteers from San Blas Atempa help to remove debris and clear the streets of San Mateo del Mar affected by the earthquake.

MEXICO CITY/NEW YORK/HONG KONG, 23 September 2017 – Nearly 5,100 schools have been damaged or destroyed in Mexico following two powerful earthquakes that struck less than two weeks apart, threatening access to education for thousands of children – UNICEF said today.

Some seven million children live in areas affected by the earthquakes on September 8 and September 19.

“We are deeply concerned by the substantial damage sustained by schools in the hardest hit communities and the impact this could have for children,” said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Mexico.  “It is essential that we find urgent solutions to get them back in the classroom as quickly as possible, both to secure their futures and to help restore a sense of normalcy to their lives following these traumatic experiences.”

UNICEF is working with its partners in areas affected by the earthquakes to establish temporary schools, promote school safety guidelines, train teachers in psychosocial support, and distribute education supplies and early childhood development kits to teachers and caregivers.

The children’s agency is also ramping up its response to meet the urgent health and protection needs of affected children, including:
– Construction of child friendly spaces for children to play, recover and receive psychosocial support;
– Distribution of information on how to protect children during an earthquake and how to avoid accidental separation of families;
– Distribution of basic hygience items and supplies such as soap, blankets, rainwear and tarpaulins;
– Provision of clean drinking water and portable toilets in temporary shelters and outdoor camping sites.

UNICEF is appealing for HK$35.9 million to support its humanitarian reponse to the earthquakes of September 8 and 19.