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Support for Families, Children Part of CARE’s Response Following Fuego Volcano Eruption

Wuilfred Colaj/CARE

Teams continue assessing the fallout from the blast 38 kilometres southwest of Guatemala City that has left thousands seeking shelter and protection

GUATEMALA CITY — 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 more than 100 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 for CARE in Guatemala. “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 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.

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To arrange an interview with a CARE spokesperson in Guatemala, contact:

Darcy Knoll
Communications Specialist | CARE Canada
darcy.knoll@care.ca | 613-228-5641