UNICEF Ambassador Aiken visits flood affected states of Tabasco and Chiapas
CHIAPAS, Mexico, Dec. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- UNICEF Ambassador and critically acclaimed recording artist Clay Aiken today wrapped up the first leg of his trip to the flood affected areas of southeast Mexico by participating in a gift exchange and "sing along" with over 300 children and their families at a camp erected for flood victims.
Aiken, who is traveling in the region with his mother and younger brother, a Marine on leave from Iraq, will also be part of a UNICEF delegation scheduled to visit the state of Tabasco over the next two days.
"The situation in Chiapas and Tabasco has really become a forgotten emergency," said the U.S. pop star who became an ambassador for the children's agency in 2004. "Telling the story of these brave people, especially the children, to a U.S. audience is the reason that I am here. Sharing this experience with my family during this time of year makes it even more special."
In one weekend last month torrential rains in Tabasco and Chiapas produced the worst flooding the region has seen in more than 50 years. More than one million residents of the two states have been affected, one third of which are children.
While an integrated humanitarian response lead by government and U.N. agencies has stabilized the emergency in Mexico, thousands remain homeless and displaced. According to UNICEF officials in the region, children are the most vulnerable in these situations. Hundreds of them are at risk of psychological trauma and many more are out of school due to extensive structural damage to school buildings.
Today's event, also attended by Hon. Isabel Aguilera de Sabines, First Lady of the state of Chiapas, was held in the city of Ostuacan where 19 deaths were recently reported after a series of mudslides engulfed the small mountain community of Juan de Grijalva and the search for six missing residents is ongoing.
Chiapas is bordered on the north by the state of Tabasco, on the south
by the Pacific Ocean, on the east by the Central American nation of
Guatemala and on the west by the states of Oaxaca and Veracruz. Chiapas has
111 municipalities. Its capital, Tuxtla Gutierrez, lies near the center of
the state. Tabasco is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Mexico, to the
south by the state of Chiapas, to the east by Guatemala and Campeche and to
the west by Veracruz. Villahermosa is Tabasco's capital city.
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For more than 60 years, UNICEF has been the world's leading international children's organization, working in over 150 countries to address the ongoing issues that affect why kids are dying. UNICEF provides lifesaving nutrition, clean water, education, protection and emergency response saving more young lives than any other humanitarian organization in the world. While millions of children die every year of preventable causes like dehydration, upper respiratory infections and measles, UNICEF, with the support of partnering organizations and donors alike, has the global experience, resources and reach to give children the best hope of survival. For more information about UNICEF, please visit http://www.unicefusa.org.
|SOURCE U.S. Fund for UNICEF|
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