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24 October 2015

UNICEF Australia stands with the global UNICEF community, ready to support the needs of children and their families in the wake of Hurricane Patricia.

The category five major storm is expected to bring heavy rain and life-threatening mudslides along with destructive winds of such a force to create projectiles of unsecured and damaged materials.

UNICEF Australia Communications Director Michael Newsome said the international UNICEF community was on high alert and ready to act.

“Children are always the most vulnerable during and immediately following such an extreme weather event,” Mr Newsome said.

Mexico is no stranger to emergencies. In the past 10 years the country’s combined economic loss from disasters was almost US$5bn. UNICEF has been working in Mexico since 1954 and is ready to respond with lifesaving emergency interventions for children, should the government need it to.

When disasters strike, UNICEF is ready to:

  • Restore life-saving medical services, water and sanitation
  • Deliver emergency hygiene and nutritional supplies to families who have lost everything
  • Reunite separated children with their parents
  • Set up child-friendly spaces to keep children off the streets and away from danger
  • Provide counselling and psychosocial support for children suffering profound stress
  • Help children back to school and through every step of the long-term recovery.

“We sincerely hope this does not become the disaster that is predicted, but UNICEF stands ready to support children and families if called upon,” Mr Newsome said.