Situation in Numbers
# affected children in need of assistance in Hurricane Irma- and Maria-affected countries
# affected children in Dominica
# children in temporary shelters in Antigua, British Virgin Islands, Dominica
As of 27 November, the majority of schools in Anguilla, Antigua, British Virgin Islands (BVI), and Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) have reopened their doors, bringing an increasing number of children back to school.
Improvements were also noted in Dominica where 65 of the 90 Early Childhood Development (ECD), primary and secondary schools reopened, providing an attendance rate of 65 per cent, based on pre-Maria enrollment numbers.
Resettlement of Barbuda is underway with the lone secondary school expected to be reopened in January 2018. A shift system will see primary school students attending classes in the morning and secondary school students in the afternoon. An assessment of learning facilities, including early childhood centres, reveal that ten of these facilities will have to be rebuilt while an additional nine need minor and major repairs.
Support to national child protection and education systems to respond to the needs of teachers, caregivers and children experiencing trauma and distress, children at risk, children with disabilities and other vulnerable groups remains a key priority in all the affected countries.
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
Almost three months since the impact of Hurricane Irma, followed by Hurricane Maria, there are visible signs of a slow but steady return to normalcy in impacted Eastern Caribbean islands. Increasing numbers of families are accessing vital services, with above 70 per cent of the population in Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands and Dominica having access to restored water services, however the coverage of those with power services ranges from 10 per cent in Dominica to 70 per cent in Turks and Caicos Islands. Displaced Barbuda residents, who were largely being housed in shelters in Antigua, are also beginning to return to Barbuda as work continues to restore water and electricity services there.
A notable return to normalcy is being witnessed in the education sector, with the complete school population in Anguilla and Turks and Caicos, and most school children (above 90 per cent) in British Virgin Islands being back in the classroom. In Dominica, over two-thirds of the 90 ECD, primary and secondary schools have reopened, some of them with temporary learning spaces and shift strategy, with 65 per cent of the school population back in classes. However, a timeline for many of the remaining educational institutions to be reopened remains doubtful as 11 schools continue to be used as shelters.
Increased focus will now be placed on Barbuda as government prepares for the large-scale return of the 1,600 residents who were evacuated as a result of the widespread devastation caused by Irma. Based on the resettlement plan, UNICEF will organize the transportation and distribution of stockpiled educational and recreational material to Barbuda.