Mexico Earthquake Humanitarian Situation Report No. 6 - 13 October 2017

Report
from UN Children's Fund
Published on 13 Oct 2017

Highlights

  • The Ministry of Finance has confirmed the activation of the $150M Catastrophic Bonus by the World Bank, which will be transferred to the National Disaster Fund (FONDEN), for health, education and roads infrastructure/reconstruction purposes. The fund is approved following verifications conducted by the US Geological Survey. (Source: SHCP, 10 Oct)

  • Selected municipalities of affected states will have access to preferential credits for household reconstruction/repairs. People in cities who lost their homes will be exempt from paying taxes after selling the land where their houses once stood. (Source: SHCP, 2 Oct)

  • Other means of support, particularly for Oaxaca and Chiapas, include: credits of US$833 for families that need to fix partial damages; credits of up to US$5,555 for larger damages (at a 7% rate); and, US$555 for small businesses that lost their stock. (Source: Presidencia.Oct.9)

  • As of 12 October, 75% of all schools in affected states have resumed learning activities. (Source: SEP). Highlights of UNICEF results include:

  • Child Protection: 24 of 38 planned child friendly spaces (CFS) have been established: 15 in Oaxaca, 6 in Puebla, 2 in Chiapas and 1 in Mexico City. Additional CFS’ will be established in Morelos next week.

  • WASH: 600 families benefited from complementary hygiene kits in San Mateo del Mar; hygiene promotion activities continue in affected areas.

  • Education: 100 school-in-a-box kits were distributed in Puebla; and 60 preschool and daycare teachers in Chiapas were trained in psychosocial support skills to address the needs of affected children.

Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs

On 5 October, the permanent session of the National Emergency Committee was dissolved, and emergency committees will now continue operating within each government agency. The Ministry of Finance has confirmed the activation of the $150M Catastrophic Bonus by the World Bank, which will be transferred to the National Disaster Fund (FONDEN), for health, education and roads infrastructure/reconstruction purposes. (Source: SHCP, 10 Oct). Oaxaca and Chiapas reported a total of 121,000 partially and totally damaged houses, with the government providing a maximum compensation of 120,000 Mexican pesos (US$7,000), 20% of which is foreseen for construction labour and 80% for material. Soft loans of up to 100,000 pesos (US$6,000) will also be provided for the purposes of reconstruction. Rental subsidies of 3,000 pesos (US$176) are being provided to families affected in Mexico City and the other affected states.

In Chiapas, the mapping of damages and losses have been completed by FONDEN. Data systematization on schools that were affected by the earthquake will be finalized by 23 October 2017. 93% of schools have reopened since 10 October. In Oaxaca, 81% of schools have reopened, and the government announced the end of housing demolitions and debris clearing. 7,129 schools were certified as safe and are operating normally in Mexico City, representing 70% of all schools in the city. However, restrictions on a return to school are still in place in Tláhuac and in specific neighbourhoods of Iztapalapa and Xochimilco. By 12 October, 75% of all schools in the five affected states had resumed their regular activities.

In terms of shelters, the largest shelter in Juchitán, Oaxaca, which serves 1,500 meals a day (breakfast, lunch, dinner). Sanitation issues, lack of access to drinkable water, and problems with outdoor food storage in shelters remain a concern. Additionally, there are no standard guidelines or operating procedures for shelters. There are eight reported cases of hepatitis in San Mateo del Mar. Other hygiene issues present in the shelter include head lice, bedbugs and fungal infections like athlete´s foot.

UNICEF staff visited 27 shelters in Mexico City, Puebla and Morelos on 5-6 October, as well as parks and public spaces in seven municipalities (delegaciones). Lack of access to water and sanitation facilities has been identified as an issue, though most shelters are mainly empty. In some shelters, conflicts among leaders are emerging due to a lack of public services, mainly the lack of water.

From 3-5 October, UNICEF staff visited social welfare agencies in four municipalities in Morelos and seven in Puebla. In these municipalities, girls and boys appear to be protected by family networks, spending most of their time inside habitable homes, since many buildings are still at risk of collapse. In some cases, children accompany adults to work in the countryside. As a result, the shelters are underutilized and the presence of children is scarce. Some shelters are now transitioning into relief aid collection points and some will soon be closed. There are no records of how many children remain in the shelters, nor is there precise information about their situation. Children in these municipalities are scared about another earthquake and are further exposed to the fear and stress exhibited by adults, with parents feeling helpless about addressing their children’s psycho-emotional needs.