Education International has launched an urgent action appeal to help educators affected by extreme weather conditions which have plagued Bangladesh, the Caribbean, and the southern United States.
Less than two weeks ago, torrential rains led to the deaths of at least 1,200 people and caused the destruction of more than 100,000 homes in rural areas in Bangladesh. Since last Thursday, Irma – the most powerful hurricane in history – has been causing catastrophic damage to the islands of Barbuda, Antigua, St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Barthelemy, the British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba and now Southern Florida. For the United States, the disaster comes only a week after Hurricane Harvey devastated parts of Texas.
At least 22 people are reported to have lost their lives in the Caribbean, but the number of casualties is expected to rise as communications are restored. According to early reports, up to 95 percent of the infrastructure in Barbuda has been destroyed, and the French side of St. Maarten seems to have suffered a similar fate.
Education International (EI) General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen is in contact with the Caribbean Union of Teachers (CUT), who are trying to gather as much information as possible from affiliates in the worst-hit areas, as well as with our member organisations in the United States. He has also written to the EI regional office in Asia-Pacific to seek more detailed information about damage to the education system in Bangladesh following last week’s floods.
Together with the CUT, EI will organise a Solidarity response to help colleagues in need as well as their union organisations in the Caribbean. In a first instance, they plan to provide direct assistance to teachers and education workers and their families. They will also work with EI member organisations on the ground to increase their capacity to organise assistance for their members and restore education for all.
Education International will make an amount of 50,000 EUR available to colleagues victims of the hurricanes and floods. Member organisations and concerned citizens around the globe are invited to make financial donations to the EI Solidarity Fund:
Education International Solidarity Account
Bank name and address:
Avenue Marnix 24,1000 Brussels, Belgium
IBAN: BE05 3101 0061 7075
Please indicate “Urgent Action hurricanes and floods” in communication
Please feel free to forward solidarity messages to [email protected], who will deliver them to colleagues in Bangladesh, the Caribbean and the United States.