World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Action Needed To Make Schools Safe From Collapse

Concerted Global Action Needed To Make Schools Safe From Collapse, UN Says

New York, Dec 23 2008 12:10PM

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) called today for more concerted action to make school buildings around the world safe following the collapse of thousands of schools this year, many of them deadly, due to earthquakes, cyclones and other causes.

“Whether caused by poor construction or natural catastrophes, school collapses invariably have disastrous effects on children,” UNICEF Global Chief of Education Cream Wright said “Schools must be safe places where children can learn and thrive.”

Schools are unlikely to topple when natural disasters strike if they have a strong structural design, their construction is closely monitored and they undergo regular maintenance, UNICEF noted.

A devastating earthquake in China’s Sichuan Province on 12 May is estimated to have killed thousands of children, damaging more than 12,000 schools, or 40 per cent of all those in the province, and another 6,500 in neighbouring Gansu Province.

In Myanmar more than 4,000 schools still need to be repaired or rebuilt to provide permanency and security to affected children following the 3 May cyclone.

In Pakistan the earthquake that hit the north-eastern areas of Balochistan province on 29 October damaged some 300 schools in the worst-affected districts of Ziarat, Pishin and Harnai – 85 per cent of schools in these areas – as well as 124 schools in the neighbouring Quetta district. More than 31,000 students were affected.

In Haiti more than 90 children and teachers perished on 7 November after their school collapsed because of poor infrastructure. Hurricanes and tropical storms that pounded the country in August and September damaged nearly 1,000 schools.

Safe construction is an essential component of child-friendly schools and learning spaces, UNICEF noted. “Safe schools don’t just save children’s lives, they can also serve as temporary shelters for communities in times of disasters,” Mr. Wright said.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


UN: UNHCR Chief Urges Better Support For 13 Million 'Exhausted' And Displaced Syrians
UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, has urged greater international support for the more than 13 million Syrians who’ve been displaced in the past 10 years...More>>

>UN: Recent Kosovo-Serbia Tensions Could ‘Unravel Steady But Fragile Progress’

Tensions over vehicle licence plates and anti-smuggling operations, between authorities in Kosovo and Serbia, in recent weeks, may contribute to unravelling “steady but fragile progress made in rebuilding trust among communities” in Kosovo and Serbia...

ITUC: Nobel Prize In Economics Explodes Minimum Wage And Jobs Myth

The prize was awarded to David Card, Joshua Angrist and Guido Imbens for real-world research in the 1990s that demonstrated, empirically, that the idea touted by conservative economists that higher minimum wages mean fewer jobs is not based on fact... More>>

Focus On: UN SDGs

UN: With Clock Ticking, Sustainable Transport Key To Global Goals
From electric cars and buses to zero-carbon producing energy sources, new and emerging technologies along with innovative policy changes, are critical for combating climate change. But to be effective, they must ensure that transport strategies benefit everyone, including the poorest... More>>

COP26: 7 Climate Action Highlights To Remember

A September to remember, a pivotal month for climate action commitments. From the United Nations General Assembly week to the final pre-COP meeting, last month was an important time to build momentum... More>>

UN: Global Leaders Set To Act To Increase Energy Access While Reducing Emissions At First UN Energy Summit In 40 Years

Significant new commitments for financing clean energy, increasing renewables and improving access to electricity are expected to be announced on 24 September at the UN High-level Dialogue on Energy... More>>