Since 15 August the Caribbean has been successively hit by tropical storm Fay, hurricanes Gustav, Hanna and Ike. Education International reaches out in solidarity to teachers across the affected region.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). more than 350 people have died and 2.8 million people are affected while assessments of the impact of the storms are ongoing. Initial reports indicate that over 200,000 homes were damaged.
Haiti was one of the hardest hit. A death toll of 337 has been reported, and more than 170,000 families are suffering the impact of the devastating storms. EI’s affiliate, the Confédération Nationale des Éducateurs d’Haïti (CNEH), reports that many schools throughout the country were completely destroyed or are currently being used as shelters. In Nippes, 40 schools were severely damaged, leaving more than 8,000 pupils without access to education. The full extent of the damage is not yet clear as many roads remain impassable and contact via telephone with teachers in the affected areas is limited.
EI is in contact with its regional office and its members in the region to assess how EI can assist teachers, students and schools affected by the disaster.
The EI Regional Office together with the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT) will be playing a lead role in coordinating the support to teachers in the region in the coming weeks.