It’s been a year since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, and while many children and families are still reeling from the effects, recovery efforts have made some progress. Michelle Centeno, UNICEF USA’s Manager for Humanitarian Emergencies and Executive Communications, visited the island earlier this month to observe the impact of ongoing assistance efforts, and the launch of a new nutrition program for children.
It was on Aug. 25, 2017, that Hurricane Harvey made landfall, slamming Texas and parts of Louisiana with Category-4 winds and heavy rains and causing catastrophic flooding — one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history.
Some 13 million people were affected, including 3 million children in the hardest-hit areas in and around Houston. For many children who witnessed the destruction, as homes, schools and communities were being washed away, so too was their sense of security, normalcy and well being.
Hurricane Harvey's flooding caused one of the worst weather disasters in U.S. history, with recovery costs estimated in the billions of dollars. UNICEF USA is working with the Houston departments of health and education, the mayor's office and NGO partners to provide counseling and education for the most marginalized and vulnerable children in Harvey's wake. UNICEF USA is also providing educational materials to students and teachers displaced from their schools by the storm.
One month after Hurricane Maria slammed into Puerto Rico, 1 million Americans on the island have no running water and 3 million are without electrical power.