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Central America is in the midst of hurricane season – it could be the worst since weather records began. Storm "Iota" follows storm "Eta" with more than 200 deaths and threatens countless people. The emergency aid of Caritas is running at full speed.
"Especially elderly people, pregnant women, children and people with disabilities are in urgent need of help", says Julia Wiget, who oversees projects in Guatemala and Honduras at Caritas international. Honduras was already the one from "Eta" Hardest hit land in the region. There alone, three million people are suffering from the effects of the hurricane, 55.000 people are still in emergency shelters. More than 100.000 people are still cut off from the outside world today. "The situation is particularly dramatic for families living in rural areas", reports Julia Wiget.
Many people in Honduras and Nicaragua are faced with the ruins of their existence. This year could be the worst hurricane season since weather records began. Photo: Katlyn Holland / CRS
Emergency aid underway – reconstruction in sight
Together with the staff of local Caritas organizations, Caritas international distributes emergency relief goods, especially food and hygiene items. 300.Caritas international has already donated € 000 for this purpose and continues to call for donations.
In addition to the emergency aid that is currently urgently needed, Caritas international already has its sights set on rebuilding housing and social facilities. Particularly in the hard-hit rural area around San Pedro Sula in the north of the country, nearly 30.000 people are being helped to rebuild their homes or are receiving aid so they can resume their farming activities. The goal: The affected people can soon earn their living again from their own resources.
Distribution of food and hygiene products by Caritas in Honduras. Emergency aid is in full swing. Photo: Caritas Honduras
Conditions made more difficult by Corona
Hurricanes like "Eta or "Iota" destroy homes, crop fields and entire livelihoods within a few minutes. The fact that the world is in the midst of a pandemic is quickly forgotten by those concerned. Cramped emergency shelters become hotbeds of infection, and the risk of infection – especially for at-risk groups such as the elderly – is high. In the capital Tegucigalpa alone, 33 percent of all people in emergency shelters have tested positive for corona. Caritas helps people protect themselves from infection by distributing masks and disinfectants.
Caritas international has so far recruited 300.000 euros for emergency aid and reconstruction – further donations urgently needed.