Hurricane Otis: UNICEF working with authorities in the state of Guerrero to protect children and adolescents
- More than 296,000 girls, boys, and adolescents could have been seriously affected.
- Short-term effects could include malnutrition, disease transmission, or lack of medical attention, as well as medium and long-term damage to their health, nutrition, education, and protection against all types of abuse.
Acapulco, Guerrero/ Ciudad de México, October 30th, 2023. UNICEF, the United Nations Children's Fund, is collaborating with state and federal authorities in Mexico to provide humanitarian assistance and protect children and adolescents affected by the passage of Hurricane Otis in Guerrero.
"The federal, state, and municipal governments are already responding to the emergency, and United Nations agencies, including UNICEF, are working together to meet both immediate and future needs," said Fernando Carrera, UNICEF Representative in Mexico.
In situations akin to the recent storm, children and adolescents may face shortages of adequate food, limited access to clean water, the risk of contagion of water-related diseases, dehydration, reduced medical care, and potential physical and emotional abuse due to the possible increase in violence and crime. Additionally, damage to homes and critical infrastructure, such as hospitals and schools, poses a special risk to the child and adolescent population.
UNICEF is in close communication with federal and state authorities to identify and address the most pressing needs of children and adolescents through:
- Gathering information about the immediate needs of children and adolescents, along with recommendations to address security risks.
- Providing psychosocial support for affected girls, boys, and adolescents through safe spaces for play and distraction, secure school environments, and frontline staff training to prevent abuse and exploitation.
- Offering technical support in primary healthcare, nutrition, and psychosocial assistance, which may include the distribution of micronutrients and therapeutic foods if necessary.
- Distributing clean drinking water, hygiene kits, cleaning and disinfection kits, essential supplies for primary healthcare and maternal-child health, as well as expanding access to safe drinking water and sanitation, including the provision of mobile hydrosanitary infrastructure (toilets and handwashing facilities).
"Mobilizing humanitarian assistance as quickly as possible for the affected children and adolescents is essential in situations like this, which endanger their physical and emotional well-being," Carrera Castro emphasized. "We urgently call upon the generosity of the Mexican people to join our efforts to protect the present and future of the affected girls, boys, and adolescents in Guerrero."
In Mexico, UNICEF's efforts to help children and adolescents in the coast of Guerrero can receive support through the following link: https://unicef.org.mx/huracan-otis/
UNICEF works in some of the world's toughest places, to reach the world's most disadvantaged children. Across more than 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/lac/en.