Programmes needed to prepare children for disasters: UNICEF

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a child sleeping on a bed, surrounded by floodwater, in his home in Khwas Koorona village, Pakistan. [UNICEF/Asad Zaidi]

There is need to have programmes to ensure that children know what do when disasters strike says, Antony Spalton, Risk Reduction Specialist from the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Mr. Spalton says children should participate in these programmes and be allowed to give their perspectives on what makes them feel safe.

He says children are one of the most vulnerable groups and even within children there are some children who are more vulnerable than others, such as children with disabilities.

"Disasters lead to increase of school dropout that can lead to children being trafficked, protection issues, health issues. The other aspect is ensuring children know what to do when there is a disaster. Are they prepared at school? Do they know what to do when there is an earthquake and know very practical things like you are hiding under your desk, holding to one leg of your desk in the event of an earthquake. The other aspects really is about education, how can we work with governments to ensure that simple skills even life skills like swimming are built into the school curricula." (29")

Antony Spalton is attending the Fourth Global Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction under way Geneva.

Representatives of governments, civil society, international agencies, academic, technical institutions and the private sector are discussing how to work together to reduce risks from disasters and reinforce resilience in their communities.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration: 1'15"

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