Over 500,000 children are living without proper shelter, food, or clean water after Haiti earthquake, UNICEF says

Locals search for victims in a home destroyed by an earthquake in Camp-Perrin, Les Cayes, Haiti, Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021.
People search for victims in a home destroyed by an earthquake in Haiti, on Aug. 15, 2021.
  • Over 500,000 children in Haiti have been left without proper food, shelter, or clean water after an earthquake last week.
  • UNICEF said over 84,000 homes were damaged or destroyed, in addition to schools, hospitals and other infrastructure.
  • As of Tuesday, officials said the death toll in the disaster had reached over 1,900 people.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

More than 500,000 children have been left without proper food, shelter, or clean water after a powerful earthquake rocked Haiti on Saturday, UNICEF said on Tuesday.

The organization said both flooding and mudslides caused by a Tropical Storm Grace will likely further complicate the humanitarian response and worsen the situation of vulnerable individuals.

UNICEF also said over 84,000 homes were damaged or destroyed. Schools, hospitals, bridges, and other public infrastructure have also been damaged by the back-to-back disasters.

"Right now, about half a million Haitian children have limited or no access to shelter, safe water, health care, and nutrition," said Bruno Maes, UNICEF's Representative in Haiti.

Haiti - which was still reeling from the assassination of its president in July - was struck by a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on Saturday. On Tuesday, officials said the death toll in the disaster had reached over 1,900 people.

The organization said it plans to mobilize additional supplies like education and recreational kits, as well as host community-oriented engagement activities to maintain support for children and prevent family separation. With its partners, UNICEF is working to provide emergency shelters, safe water reservoirs and hygiene kits.

Assessments conducted by UNICEF revealed plenty of destruction to schools in particular just weeks before they were set to reopen.

"It will be extremely difficult for parents, teachers, and the government to get children safely back to school just three weeks from now, when schools re-open on September 7," Maes said. "But it is so crucial for children who have just gone through this traumatic earthquake-plus-extreme weather experience, to have the normalcy and stability of being in a classroom with their friends and teachers."

Over the last two years, children have been out of school for months on end, whether because of political instability or the COVID-19 pandemic.

Maes said putting children back in school is "perhaps the best way" to make sure students, families, and communities can recover.

UNICEF estimates it will need $15 million, subject to review and adjustment as the situation develops, to assist at least 385,000 people.

Those looking to help relief efforts can donate to charities such as UNICEF or Hope for Haiti.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Comments are closed.