Mexico City/ Sydney, Saturday 9 September 2017
– The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is sending 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 late yesterday night.
The teams aim to reach the two severely affected areas this Saturday to determine the kind of support the organization could offer the Mexican authorities in the areas of water and sanitation, health and child protection.
“UNICEF has a small, permanent staff presence in the affected areas, which helps in terms of damage and need assessments, and we are in dialogue with the relevant authorities to see how we can best support their efforts,” said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Mexico.
“The combined effects of the earthquake in Chiapas and Oaxaca and the growing threat of approaching hurricanes – which makes access to Veracruz difficult, for example – present a very particular challenge, but UNICEF staff are ready to rise to it,” Skoog added.
UNICEF launched this week a fundraising campaign to help children affected by hurricanes in the Caribbean, and it has now broadened its efforts to cover as well the needs of children affected by this earthquake.
2,133,238 children live in the two states worst affected by the earthquake, out of which 584,060 are under five years of age, according to a 2015 survey carried out by the Mexican institute of statistics (INEGI).
Support by UNICEF around this emergency situation will be determined in dialogue with the Mexican authorities in every instance.
UNICEF estimates that it will need US$ 1.2 million for immediate and complementary response to the needs of children and adolescents in earthquake affected areas, and possibly also in areas affected by the simultaneously incoming hurricanes.
For more information, please contact:
Rocio Ortega, UNICEF Mexico, (+52155) 3993 033, [email protected]
Daniel González, UNICEF Mexico, (+52155) 552707 2265, [email protected]
Brinsley Marlay, UNICEF Australia, 0403 604 182, [email protected]