1st March 2010 Posted in: Emergencies
At least 700 people were killed and hundreds of thousands were displaced, causing widespread damage to homes, hospitals, schools, roads and other infrastructure. All UNICEF staff in Chile have been accounted for.
“UNICEF will assist all those affected by the earthquake in Chile, especially the children,” said a spokesperson for the agency.
‘Zones of catastrophe’
The Government of Chile has declared ‘zones of catastrophe’ in the affected regions, including Bio-Bio, Maule, Araucania, Valparaiso and Metropolitan Santiago.
Following its initial assessment of needs and damage, the government said today that it would accept some offers of international assistance – particularly aid in the form of field hospitals, temporary bridges and water-purification supplies, as well as damage-assessment experts and search-and-rescue workers.
Children are most vulnerable
Children are the most vulnerable in any emergency. Besides urgent interventions to ensure child survival and protection in such situations, UNICEF works to restore education as quickly as possible – providing a sense of normalcy and security for children whose world has been turned upside-down.
Chile’s Ministry of Education has suspended the start of the school year by one week. Classes had been scheduled to resume on Monday but will now begin on 8 March.
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