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

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

© 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, 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 US $4.6 million to support its humanitarian reponse to the earthquakes of September 8 and 19. Please visit www.donaunicef.org.mx for further information on the appeal.

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 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

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For more information, please contact:
Christopher Tidey, UNICEF New York, +1 917 340 3017, ctidey@unicef.org   





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