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Guidance on Safe School Construction
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In January 2009, the Center for Research on Epidemiology of Disasters highlighted a spike in the number of people killed in natural disasters: the 2008 death toll of 235,816 was more than three times the annual average of the previous eight years. Moreover, it noted that the biggest losses, from Cyclone Nargis and the Sichuan earthquakes, could have been substantially reduced had schools been built more disaster resilient. World- wide, approximately 1.2 billion students are enrolled in primary and secondary school; of these, 875 million school children live in high seismic risk zones and hundreds of millions more face regular flood, landslide, extreme wind and fire hazards. Although these children spend up to 50 percent of their waking hours in school facilities, all too often schools are not constructed or maintained to be disaster resilient. The death of children and adults in these schools causes irreplaceable loss to families, communities and countries and life- long injury to millions of children around the world. The time to say NO MORE to these preventable deaths is NOW; every new school must be constructed as a safer school and existing unsafe schools must be retrofitted to be disaster resilient. The Education for All (EFA) and Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will not be achieved without the con- struction of safer and more disaster resilient education facilities.
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river_flood, tsunami, strong_wind, volcanic_ash, landslide, earthquake

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