GUATEMALA CITY, GUATEMALA—In the aftermath of tropical storm Agatha, global humanitarian organization Action Against Hunger | ACF International is providing emergency relief to 50,000 people in the hard-hit region of Escuintla, Guatemala, where severe flooding has destroyed homes, contaminated drinking water, and threatened food supplies for thousands of families. The tropical storm battered the region on June 1st, leaving over 250 Guatemalans dead or missing and displacing at least 125,000 others.
Action Against Hunger is responding to the immediate needs of the affected population, helping families left homeless by the storm relocate to shelters and other safe spaces; distributing emergency food provisions of corn, beans, sugar, oil, and protein & vitamin supplements; and providing tools to assist the local population with clean-up efforts. Teams have also begun rehabilitating damaged wells and restoring safe water in areas where supplies have been contaminated by the flooding. Rapid assessments of the population’s food and water needs are ongoing.
“We are paying very close attention to long-term food supplies, especially since drought earlier this year destroyed staple food crops across the region” says José Luis Vivero, Director of Central American Programs for Action Against Hunger. “After a natural disaster of this magnitude, it’s essential that affected communities get the agricultural support they need for the next harvest. Their livelihoods depend on it, and without assistance, they could very likely face a food crisis.”
Action Against Hunger is working in close collaboration with the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECI) and the Humanitarian Aid Department of the European Commission (ECHO) on the response to tropical storm Agatha. ACF has worked in Guatemala since 1998, implementing programs in nutrition, food security & livelihoods, and water, sanitation, & hygiene, and providing ongoing support to people affected by Hurricane Stan, which destroyed large swaths of the country in 2005.