Earthquake Disaster Relief photo

What happens when an earthquake strikes

One shattering moment can wreck a community and leave children traumatized, displaced and vulnerable to disease. Earthquakes are especially devastating, as the impacts of economic and infrastructural damage can last for multiple generations. 

Natural disasters disproportionately affect children. In addition to depleting access to basic necessities such as water, food, shelter and health services, earthquakes leave children separated from their families and their educations and childhoods disrupted. In the wake of a disaster, poverty rises. Children without the protection of parents or an education face higher risks of abuse and exploitation.  

How UNICEF helps children after an earthquake 

When disaster strikes, UNICEF is among the first on the ground, prepositioning supplies, supporting response efforts and assisting with the recovery. UNICEF operates the largest humanitarian supply warehouse in the world. Through its network, UNICEF can deliver urgently-needed items anywhere in the world within 48­ to 72 hours.

From Mexico to the Philippines to Haiti and beyond, UNICEF has helped rebuild communities post-quake for decades. Providing both immediate and long-term assistance, UNICEF helps ensure that children can continue to learn, receive health care and psychosocial support, access adequate nutrition, safe water, sanitation and hygiene services and stay safe from harm. UNICEF also works to reunite children who have been separated from their family and provides care for those who are orphaned.

Help UNICEF continue to support children and families through disasters. Please donate.

Top photo: Iker, 9, and his sister Yeimire, 6, stand outside their home which was destroyed in an earthquake in San Andrés Hueyapan, Tetela del Volcán municipality, Morelos, Mexico. ©UNICEF/UN0125939/Solís