map of Mexico

On Tuesday 19 September, 2017, a 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit near Puebla, Mexico.  The earthquake claimed the lives of over 230 people, and came just two weeks after the previous lethal earthquake in the area. The destruction from the two most powerful earthquakes to hit Mexico since 1985 was immense.The crisis caused multiple buildings to collapse and severely damaged infrastructure including access to water, electrical lines, and roads. On Wednesday 20 September, IsraAID deployed an emergency response team to Mexico to distribute relief items, offer psychosocial support to survivors, ensure access to safe water, and restore the sense of safety and stability challenged by this most recent trauma.

Since reaching the affected area, IsraAID’s teams have served more than 34,000 individuals through immediate response and subsequent long-term recovery and development programming. Over a year later, IsraAID’s team remains in Mexico, working with affected communities on their rehabilitation and recovery.

Due to its diverse Geography, Mexico is one of the countries most at-risk to disasters in the world. 


Houses Damaged in Morelos
Schools Damaged in Morelos
Historical Sites Damaged in Morelos
Temporary Classrooms Installed by IsraAID
2017 Earthquake Fatalities
National Poverty Rate (2016)
People in Poverty
53.4 Million
People in Extreme Poverty
9.4 Million

IsraAID and Mexico

IsraAID’s Emergency Response Team arrived 48 hours after the earthquake to offer emergency relief, medical and mental health care, and to support the longer-term response strategy for the affected populations.

The Educational sector was severely affected. Many preschool, elementary, and secondary school students are still not able to return to their full day classes or safe school environments. The reconstruction phase of all the affected schools will take up to two years.In response to urgent needs, IsraAID Installed 534 temporary classrooms, provided mental health support and training to 505 school staff such as school directors, constructed of 18 bathroom units, 12 hand washing stations, gave 121 hygiene promotion workshops to students, teachers, administrative, janitorial and kitchen staff of the school, installed and rehabilitated 25 handwashing facilities, and installed 255 classroom hygiene kits to maintain safe and healthy school environments. Lastly, IsraAID Mexico implemented a participatory, child-centered, Disaster Risk Reduction Safe School program in 20 pilot schools, benefitting 6827 students and school staff.

IsraAID Mexico’s main sector of operation since the emergency response and throughout 2018 has been education, including the Back to School Program, the Healthy School Program and the Safe School Program. In 2018, IsraAID's stakeholders and partners have included the Secretary of Education of the State of Morelos, the State Civil Protection, and the National Center for Disaster Risk Reduction.

Our Projects


Safe Schools Program

The Safe School program is focused on increasing the capacity of school communities to manage disaster risk reduction (DRR) processes. Through a participatory and child-centered approach, the program aims to involve the entire educational communities in planning, implementation, and evaluation. The program aims initially to strengthen the community resilience at the 20 pilot schools, and for subsequent adoption and replication at state level.

During the first phase of the Safe School program, IsraAID developed a participatory DRR guide adapted to the Mexican context and began with implementation of its pilot program in 20 schools in Morelos, concluding at the end of 2018 with each school producing a school emergency plan. The program included the school staff, the students, and the wider community of parents. 

The IsraAID Mexico team developed a second version of the guide, based on the results of the pilot program, and will continue to follow-up on the additional needs of the 20 pilot schools. The second phase, started in January 2019, will focus mainly on capacity building within the key institution working on Disaster Risk Reduction in Education for replication at state level. The program answers the crucial need to lead holistic disaster risk reduction processes in school communities.

The target population is school communities, but could also be extended to exploring how to promote a culture of prevention within the wider community.


  • Participatory Disaster Risk Reduction program in schools across Morelos
  • Schools state-wide create their own emergency plans, involving staff, students & parents. 


  • 6,375 students and 452 school staff directly benefited from 2018 Pilot Program
  • Two versions of the DRR guide produced
  • 32 replicators trained in 2019 in IsraAID participatory child-centered disaster risk reduction methodology.
  • 99 schools trained in 2019 in IsraAID participatory child-centered disaster risk reduction methodology by replicators and IsraAID
  • 37,728 school community members to benefit in 2019