United Nations, Aug 4.- The damage caused by the hurricane season in Central America and the Caribbean may make children and their families more vulnerable in the midst of the pandemic, and this is causing concern today at the UN.
According to a report by the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef), more than 70 million children in that geographical area are directly or indirectly affected by the health crisis following Covid-19, and the most active phase of the season Hurricane threat threatens to exacerbate the situation.
Displacement, damage to infrastructure and disruption of services due to storms, particularly in coastal areas, could make children and families more vulnerable to the disease and its impacts, the report highlights. Furthermore, he adds, the pandemic also affects the preparedness of the response of the countries of the region to these disasters.
Unicef expressed great concern that a powerful storm could seriously undermine ongoing efforts to halt transmission of the new coronavirus in an area already badly affected by the disease.
Overcrowding in emergency shelters or displacement sites would make it very difficult to guarantee physical distance and adequate hygiene measures, the UN agency details in its recent report.
The destruction or damage of water, sanitation and health infrastructure would further complicate the complex scenario, he adds.
In the coming days and weeks, children and families will be at risk of being hit simultaneously by two disasters, Covid-19 and hurricanes, UNICEF regional director Bernt Aasen warned.
The capacity of health systems, already hit by the pandemic, would be compromised to occur a hurricane, while movement restrictions and the budget deficit linked to the current crisis hinder national efforts to prepare for meteors, exposes the official site from UN news.
From 2010 to 2019 alone, storms caused 895,000 new displacements of children in the Caribbean and 297,000 in Central America, figures from the United Nations show.
According to forecasts, the Caribbean region is expected to experience an increase in storm intensity and specialists warn of above-average cyclonic activity in the 2020 season. (Text and photo: PL)