POSTED: September 25th 2017

Paralympic Movement steps up to help Mexican earthquake victims with #FuerzaMexico

The 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City September 19th exactly 30 years after another bigger 8.0 quake shook the city on September 19, 1985 © Getty Images
The 7.1 magnitude earthquake hit Mexico City September 19th exactly 30 years after another bigger 8.0 quake shook the city on September 19, 1985 © Getty Images

LAURA WALDEN (USA) / Sports Features Communications

(SFC) The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) and the Agitos Foundation announced today that a worldwide fundraising campaign to help the UNICEF organization's humanitarian efforts has been launched to aid victims from the devastating earthquake on 19 September.

Mexico was hit by a 7.1 magnitude quake that killed hundreds of people and reduced a number of buildings and infrastructure to rubble in Mexico City and neighboring states of Morelos and Puebla. Urban search and rescue efforts are still underway as an estimated five million children have been affected by the damage.

The IPC postponed its World Para Swimming and World Para Powerlifting Championships in Mexico City which were due to begin on 30 September after the powerful quake hit the country.

But due to the connection that the Paralympic Movement has for Mexico both the IPC and the Agitos Foundation stepped in to get an aid channel opened to support the ongoing work of UNICEF in the country.

Andrew Parsons, IPC President, commented, "The whole Paralympic Movement is united in our support for the Mexican people at this difficult time.  Following Tuesday's terrible tragedy, we are all committed to doing what we can to help the people affected by this earthquake.

"When we postponed our upcoming World Championships earlier this week, a number of members within the Paralympic Movement asked how they could support the relief efforts.  We believe working with UNICEF to launch this fundraising campaign is the least that we can do at this difficult time.

"I would like to thank Allianz for getting the fund up and running with a sizeable donation and would also like to pay tribute to all the NPCs and IPC staff who have committed to support the fund so far.  I hope we can make a difference."

IPC international partner Allianz - who were due to sponsor the World Para Swimming and Powerlifting Championships - are the first to donate to the campaign that has opened the door for others. The IPC said in a statement "IPC and a number of National Paralympic Committees (NPCs) set to send athletes to compete in Mexico have also made donations, as well as World Para Swimming partner SWANS/Yamamoto Kogaku Co.,Ltd."

Jean-Marc Pailhol, Head of Group Market Management & Distribution at Allianz SE, said, "Our heartfelt thoughts are with the people of Mexico at this time. Supporting this initiative to bring help and resources to those that are suffering from this devastating earthquake is the least we can do as a long standing partner of the IPC and a top tier partner of the World Para Swimming and Powerlifting Championships."

"Children affected by disasters urgently need life-saving support. UNICEF is on the ground in Mexico, working round the clock from the moment the first earthquake hit the country on 7 September. Our priority is to ensure the physical and emotional wellbeing of the children affected, guaranteeing the support and access to services they need to get their lives back to some semblance of normality as soon as possible. Many have lost their homes, people they love, their schools and things they cherish. Your donation will help us reach every child in need," said Christian Skoog, UNICEF Representative in Mexico.

Donations to the fund can be made via

**LAURA WALDEN has over twenty-six years of experience in the Olympic Movement, formerly at the European Olympic Committees with SportEurope under former IOC President Dr. Jacques Rogge and IOC Member Mario Pescante. She worked with the Rome 2004 and Turin 2006 Olympic bids and also managed PR & media for Dr. Jacques Rogge during his campaign for the presidency.

Keywords · IPC · Paralympics · Mexico · earthquake

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