04.06.2014 - UNESCO Office in Santiago

UNESCO gives workshop in Northern Chile on the disaster preparedness of the education system

Mario Calderón de la UNESCO Santiago en el taller realizado en el Hotel Arica (norte de Chile)

This workshop is one of the activities carried out by UNESCO in northern Chile for the project entitled Reducing the Risk of Disasters through Education and Science in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, which is framed within the Disaster Preparedness Programme of the European Commission’s 2013-2014 action plan.

“Comprehensive emergency management in the educational sector” is the name of the workshop organised by the Ministry of Education’s Regional Department in Arica y Parinacota (northern Chile), and it was held 29-30 May within the framework of the project on “Reducing the Risk of Disasters through Education and Science” carried out by the UNESCO Regional Bureau of Education for Latin America and the Caribbean in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

The activity stemmed from the earthquake that affected the north of Chile on April 1, 2014, as well as UNESCO’s offer to provide technical support during its visit alongside the Ministry of Education to evaluate damages and analyse the needs of the education sector. At that time, regional authorities asked for a workshop on comprehensive risk management in the education sector, with an emphasis on disaster response, for the Education Emergency Operations Committee of the Arica y Parinacota Region.

The workshop was led by Mario Calderón, regional co-ordinator of the project Reducing the Risk of Disasters through Education and Science in Chile, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and was the main activity organised to celebrate the “Week of School and Pre-School Safety”.

Mario Calderón explained the importance of these types of workshops in order to train the education sector on issues of disaster and crisis preparedness and response: “children and young people’s right to education, health and safety is the government’s responsibility. For this reason, we need to have the technical tools to comprehensively face disasters and crises in a way that builds resilience and sustainability.”

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The UNESCO project in which this workshop has been framed seeks to strengthen the disaster risk management skills of education<a name="_GoBack"></a> professionals, technicians, institutions and communities through education and science, working in direct coordination with the national disaster risk management systems in Chile, Peru, Ecuador and Colombia.

For UNESCO, in order to reduce disaster risks it is necessary to strengthen different areas, including education and science, in order to identify sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life of vulnerable communities, reduce disaster risks and strengthen the capacity of people and institutions to prepare themselves and adequately respond to crises.

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