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Global Launch of the One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals, and ASEAN Forum on Safe Hospitals
Source: .aseansec.org
Source Date: Thursday, April 08, 2010
Focus: Internet Governance
Created: Apr 12, 2010

When disasters strike, people in unsafe schools and hospitals are at the greatest risk of harm. The facts bear the truth:

 In September 2009, tropical storm Ondoy (Ketsana) brought down 42 primary and secondary schools in Metro Manila, causing a damage of USD 1.6 million.
 In the same month, a 7.6 magnitude earthquake in Sumatra, Indonesia damaged two private hospitals and affected 270,000 other buildings.
 In October 2009, typhoon Pepeng damaged about 30 private and public hospitals and 100 health care centres in the Philippines.
 In the 2005 earthquake in Kashmir, India, around 17,000 children lost their lives and 2,448 schools collapsed.
 After the December 2004 tsunami, many children in Thailand returned to their classrooms only to find many of their classmates missing.

Damaged schools mean disruption – if not total loss – of learning opportunities and a decrease in the quality of education delivery. When hospitals and healthcare facilities are destroyed, the treatment of the sick and the saving of victims during disasters become a challenge.

On April 8, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDR), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and other disaster risk reduction advocates launched the “One Million Safe Schools and Hospitals” campaign in Manila, the Philippines, to call for hospitals and schools to be safer from disasters. This global action is part of the new 2010-2011 World Disaster Reduction Campaign.

The campaign was launched in the morning of Thursday, 8 April at the Manila Hotel, Manila. A pledging session for the ASEAN Member States was the highlight of the launch. Representatives from Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar and Viet Nam joined the Philippines in the pledging session this morning. In the afternoon, the ASEAN Forum on Safe Hospitals would also be conducted. The global launch and the forum are supported by the ASEAN Committee on Disaster Management (ACDM) and the activities are part of ASEAN’s efforts to implement the ASEAN Agreement on Disaster Management and Emergency Response (AADMER). It underscores the region’s commitment to the Hyogo Framework for Action.

The pledging campaign is unique as individuals, corporations, associations and even a country can participate. To make a pledge, simply log on to the campaign website: www.safe-schools-hospitals.net. As of 13:00 Manila time, close to 200 pledgers have made pledges to about 58,000 schools and hospitals.
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