Save the Children calls for Protection of children in emergencies at Global Disaster Risk Reduction Conference in Sendai, Japan
Over 100 million children worldwide are affected by disasters yearly and, as a result, many face reduced educational opportunities.
This challenge is particularly evident in the Philippines, where recent disasters destroyed entire schools, ruined classroom supplies and damaged equipment. Schools are routinely used as evacuation centers. Classes are interrupted and children miss out on their education. More than half a year after Typhoon Yolanda, some schools were still used as evacuation centers.
As the 3rd World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction opens in Sendai (Japan) on 14 March, Save the Children renews its call for Congress and the Administration to pass the “Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act”, a bill that calls for a comprehensive plan that will protect the rights of children during disasters and emergencies. The Philippines will be sending high-level Cabinet officials and Congressional leaders to the conference.
The impact of disasters on children’s education goes beyond physical damage and interrupted school attendance, children often experience psychological distress following disasters, affecting their ability to learn.
Country Director of Save the Children in the Philippines Ned Olney said, “Disasters have a huge impact on education. However, it does not have to be that way. Proper planning can help us to mitigate the impact of disasters on education. This is why Save the Children asks for the immediate passage of the Children’s Emergency Relief and Protection Act to ensure that education is prioritized in national disaster policies and plans. The Act is asking for investments to make school facilities safer, setting limits on the use of classrooms as displacement centers and in preparing children and teachers for disasters”.
In January 2015, the bill was approved on 3rd reading by the Congress.
For more information, photographs and spokespersons, please contact Save the Children Philippines Media Manager April Sumaylo at April.Sumaylo@savethechildren.org or on 09173011240
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