Investment in children should be at the core of Mexico’s reconstruction efforts after devastating earthquakes – UNICEF

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 29 Sep 2017 View Original

• Seven million children live in areas in need of financial investment towards reconstruction
• Health, education and family housing must be prioritised for investment
• Damage to education infrastructure could be as high as US $716M

México City, 28 September 2017 – 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 wellbeing, 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 wellbeing 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 wellbeing.

Note to editor

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org

For more information contact
Soraya Bermejo, UNICEF Mexico's Chief of Communication: Tel: (+5255) 5284 9555 Cel: (+52155) 7474 0755
Rocío Núñez TUNICEF Mexico tel: (+52155) 1647 9788 rnunez@unicef.org.

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Updated: 29 September 2017