Keeping Mexico in Mind

Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto's visit to the Istmo de Tehuantepec region, a zone affected by the 2017 Chiapas earthquake. Credit Presidencia de la República Mexicana

On September 7, an 8.1 magnitude earthquake struck off the Pacific coast of Mexico. The earthquake left approximately 2.5 million people in need of aid. The states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and Oaxaca were hardest hit, and estimates cite 95 fatalities.

The earthquake struck Mexico as Texas was reeling from Hurricane Harvey, and Florida and the Caribbean were preparing for Hurricane Irma. Though the American public’s eye was on the Lone Star and Sunshine states, our partnership with Google gave donors around the world the opportunity to contribute to recovery in Mexico.

The CDP team has been tracking the response and recovery effort, and been in close contact with our international NGO partners who would typically be responding to the disaster. One little known upside to the situation is that the Government of Mexico has considerable capacity to respond to, and support the needs of its residents in the aftermath of a disaster.

This means that international assistance from U.S. responding NGOs is not necessary. In fact, my colleague Rebecca Milner, Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the International Medical Corps told me, “We have made the decision to stand down our response in Mexico as the government seems to have the response efforts well in hand.” The International Medical Corps, like many other international NGOs, is continuing to monitor the situation and will certainly mobilize a response team if necessary.

The CDP team will also continue to monitor the earthquake response and recovery situation with a goal of understanding the local and international actors that are on the ground. We know that UNICEF is supporting the response efforts, as are other organizations that have long had a presence in the country. Our plan is to allocate all dollars raised through our Google partnership to one of those trusted organizations.

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