UNESCO plans for emergency education measures after Ecuador earthquake

Javier Córdoba Ortega, UNESCO’s Regional Coordinator for the DIPECHO* programme for Education and Risk Management, based at UNESCO’s regional office in Santiago, went to the affected earthquake zone, along with Unicef, with the purpose of cooperating with other organisations to put in place emergency basic educational services.

The Santiago regional office is working in close cooperation with the Ecuador Education Ministry and has joined forces with Unicef, Plan International and Save the Children following the emergency situation caused by the earthquake of Saturday 16 April. The field mission contributed technical advice to the assessment and proposed solutions for the education sector, including the coordination of international aid organizations and the preparation of further field missions to supplement the current information available about dangers and risks.

This field mission covered the affected zone close to the earthquake epicentre, including the Muisne Canton in the Esmeraldas province and the Perdernales Canton in the Manabi Province. The purpose of the mission was to plan for the safe return to classes following the natural disaster. This response requires the establishment of temporary educational spaces which allow the continuation of educational activities in secure conditions and began identifying such spaces which met the minimum requirements for this sort of installation.

* European Union disaster preparedness project