- Seven million children live in areas in need of financial investment towards reconstruction
- Health, education and family housing must be prioritized for investment
- Damage to education infrastructure could be as high as US $716M
MEXICO CITY, Sept. 29, 2017 /CNW/ - UNICEF called today for children to be at the heart of public and private investment in reconstruction efforts following the devastating earthquakes of 7 and 19 September. The children's agency went on to strongly encourage investment for earthquake-affected children in the areas of protection, physical and emotional well-being, education and shelter for families.
"The seven million children living in the worst affected areas of Chiapas, Mexico City, Morelos, Oaxaca and Puebla – especially the most vulnerable who have lost their homes and schools – must be at the core of budgetary discussions in the country," said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Mexico.
"In emergency situations, children and adolescents have special needs in nutrition, health, hygiene, and access to education and psychosocial support, which must be addressed over the immediate and longer term. If these urgent priorities are left unaddressed, the consequences for affected children and society as a whole could be severe," stressed Skoog.
"Mexico faces a reconstruction challenge with related budgetary implications and, in this context, UNICEF asks that the country give careful and systematic consideration to the needs of children and adolescents when making decisions linked to reconstruction efforts. The well-being of children and adolescents must be a key consideration when determining priorities for affected families. For example, families with children or women-headed households must receive special consideration and support," concluded Skoog.
Mexico has ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and has special legislation protecting the rights of children and adolescents (Ley General de los Derechos de Niñas, Niños y Adolescentes or General Legislation on the Rights of Girls, Boys and Adolescents) and, as such, the country has made formal commitments to undertake all necessary legal and financial measures to guarantee the realization of those rights.
This commitment carries obligations in the development of economic and social policy, as well as for budget allocations at federal and state levels in both emergency and regular contexts.
The Mexican Constitution also states that all government decisions affecting children in the country must seek to protect their best interests in all circumstances.
Budgetary decisions linked to the reconstruction of areas affected by the recent earthquakes must guarantee full respect for the rights of children in health, education and housing for their affected families, without neglecting other fundamental rights such as the right to be protected against violence, abuse or exploitation.
In a post-disaster situation, accelerating and not just adjusting investment for children must be a priority if a country is to reach its long-term objectives for economic growth and social well-being.
UNICEF has saved more children's lives than any other humanitarian organization. We work tirelessly to help children and their families, doing whatever it takes to ensure children survive. We provide children with healthcare and immunization, clean water, nutrition and food security, education, emergency relief and more in developing countries.
UNICEF is supported entirely by voluntary donations and helps children regardless of race, religion or politics. As part of the UN, we are active in more than 190 countries - more than any other organization. Our determination and our reach are unparalleled. Because nowhere is too far to go to help a child survive. For more information about UNICEF, please visit www.unicef.ca.
SOURCE UNICEF Canada
For further information: Stefanie Carmichael, UNICEF Canada, 416-482-6552 ext. 8866, email@example.com