Teams continue assessing the fallout from the blast 24 miles southwest of Guatemala City that has left thousands seeking shelter and protection
GUATEMALA CITY (June 7, 2018) — The global humanitarian organization CARE is responding to the Fuego volcano’s massive eruption with psychosocial support for affected families, particularly children in shelters. On the ground in the affected areas, teams continue assessing the impact of the blast, mobilizing financial resources and determining how best to meet the needs of affected families and communities.
Guatemalan authorities are conducting search and rescue operations in hard-hit provinces of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepéquez, where the eruption has killed at least 99 people and affected 1.7 million.
“In crises like this, it is vital that families, particularly children, feel supported,” said Amilcar Miron, Programme Quality and Resource Mobilization Manager. “Some communities have been buried under the lava and ash, and many have lost everything, including loved ones. Our psychosocial activities help them cope with their losses and reclaim some level of stability in a desperately chaotic situation.”
With more than 3,600 people having already fled their homes and communities, the primary needs include shelter and household items such as mattresses and blankets, as many families are sleeping, unprotected, on the ground. CARE is active in the affected area and anticipated response plans include assistance with water, sanitation and hygiene; food security; and protection – in particular for women and girls at risk of gender-based violence.
CARE also supports communities in their coffee and avocado production. Significant crop losses are being reported, and the volcanic blast and risk for new eruptions have forced families working in the agricultural sector to flee their homes and farms. CARE has personnel on the ground and is in close contact with local leaders, coordinating a response with humanitarian international NGOs, UN and CONRED (Coordinadora Nacional para la Reducción de Desastres). CARE has activated an 8-member CARE team to assist in the response as needed.
CARE has worked in Guatemala since 1959. Beyond the psychosocial support, we will continue to monitor and assess the impact of the eruption and the needs of those affected, particularly around the loss of livelihoods. CARE is especially concerned about the well-being of women and girls who often are most vulnerable when disaster strikes, whether natural or man-made.
Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve education and health, create economic opportunity, respond to emergencies and confront hunger. Last year CARE worked in 93 countries and reached more than 63 million people around the world. Learn more at care.org.
Mahmoud Shabeeb, [email protected], +962-79-146-39-03, Skype: mahmoud.shabeeb_1 (based in Amman, Jordan)