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

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 More than 5,000 schools damaged or destroyed by September quakes

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 £4.5 million to support its humanitarian response to the earthquakes of September 8 and 19. Please visit https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/mexico-earthquake/ for further information on the appeal.

 —ENDS—

 For more information please contact:

Unicef UK Media Team, 0207 375 6030, media@unicef.org.uk

Unicef spokespeople available in Mexico City, Puebla & Morelos

About Unicef

Unicef is the world’s leading organisation for children, promoting the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

Unicef UK raises funds to protect children in danger, transform their lives and build a safer world for tomorrow’s children. As a registered charity we raise funds through donations from individuals, organisations and companies and we lobby and campaign to keep children safe. Unicef UK also runs programmes in schools, hospitals and with local authorities in the UK. For more information please visit unicef.org.uk