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Latin America & The Caribbean - Weekly Situation Update (25-31 May 2020) As of June 1 2020

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CENTRAL AMERICA: TROPICAL STORM AMANDA

Tropical Storm Amanda, which began to form off the Pacific coast the previous week, made landfall on 31 May, prompting intense rainfall and sustained winds between 64 to 105 km/h over parts of El Salvador,
Guatemala and Honduras as it moved north towards the Gulf of Mexico, later dissipating into a tropical depression.
El Salvador and Guatemala declared nationwide red alerts, while Honduras placed 10 departments in the southwest under yellow alert.

KEY FIGURES
18.6K FAMILIES IN EL SALVADOR AFFECTED BY TROPICAL STORM AMANDA
44K PEOPLE IN GUATEMALA AFFECTED BY TROPICAL STORM AMANDA

EL SALVADOR

According to the Ministry of the Interior and the General Directorate of Civil Protection (DGPC), Amanda affected at least 18,622 families, with half of the affected families located in the western departments of La Libertad (2,503), Santa Ana (2,513) and San Salvador (4,305). As of 1 June, there are 15 deaths and more than 7,200 people sheltered across 154 shelters.
Water service has been suspended in the San Salvador department and many communities do not have electricity due to fallen electric poles and trees.
The Government activated the Emergency Operations Centre (EOC) prior to landfall, with Civil Protection coordinating and implementing response actions as of 30 May.

GUATEMALA

The National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) reports that Amanda affected 44,086 people and prompted the evacuation of 589 people, while rendering more than 300 people homeless.
Eleven of Guatemala’s 22 departments are reporting incidents, including floods, landslides and sinkholes, with the highest rainfall and flooding concentrated in the eastern departments of Chiquimula, El Progreso, Jalapa, Jutiapa and Santa Rosa. The effects of Amanda damaged more than 300 homes. At least 167 people remain sheltered.
CONRED deployed two immediate response teams to eastern Guatemala to coordinate rescue and evacuation. The EOC was already active to respond to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Humanitarian Country Team (HCT) is standing by to provide support should CONRED request it.

HONDURAS

Damages in Honduras have been comparatively limited, with 108 families across eight departments reporting damages to their homes, according to the Permanent Commission for Contingencies (COPECO). COPECO has deployed to affected areas to carry out damage and needs assessments and have distributed food rations, cleaning and hygiene kits to nearly 100 affected families.

DEVELOPMENT OVER ATLANTIC

Per the National Hurricane Center, Amanda’s remnants are now over Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula, headed in a north-west direction to the Bay of Campeche where environmental conditions may support development into a new tropical depression in the Atlantic in coming days. Southern Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize and western Honduras are likely to receive rainfall in coming days.

REGIONAL: COVID-19

Cases are referenced from PAHO/WHO 31 May COVID-19 Report - https://bit.ly/3fDCwwK

KEY FIGURES
922.6K CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES IN LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN AS OF 31 MAY
14M PEOPLE POTENTIALLY IN SEVERE FOOD INSECURITY IN 2020
$2.8B PLEDGED AT DONORS CONFERENCE FOR VENEZUELAN REFUGEES & MIGRANTS

THE AMERICAS - NEW GLOBAL PANDEMIC EPICENTRE

PAHO/WHO indicated that with more than 2.8 million cases and 161,000 deaths, the Americas is now the global pandemic epicentre.
PAHO/WHO say the regional peak is weeks away, expressing concern over accelerating caseloads in Brazil, Chile, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Peru. Brazil, in particular, now has the world’s highest daily death rate as of 25 May, and trail only the US in confirmed cases.
A study from the University of Washington warns that Brazil could see a five-fold rise to 125,000 deaths by August. The study also projects that August deaths may reach as high as 20,000 in Peru, 12,000 in Chile, 7,000 in Mexico, 6,000 in Ecuador, 5,500 in Argentina and 4,500 in Colombia.
Conversely, Cuba, where testing is outpacing the outbreak, is on track for only 82 deaths.
The statements come as some countries begin to ease restrictions that have stalled economies across the region.

FOOD INSECURITY TO ESCALATE

According to WFP, the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic may potentially leave nearly 14 million people in severe food insecurity in 2020, a four-fold rise from 3.4 million food-insecure people in 2019.
Potential increases include 1.6 million people in Haiti, up from 700,000; more than 1 million Venezuelan migrants and refugees in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, up from 540,000; and nearly 3 million people in the Central American Dry Corridor communities, up from 1.6 million people.
WFP also estimates that an additional 10 million people may fall into poverty.

DONORS CONFERENCE FOR VENEZUELAN REFUGEES & MIGRANTS

Spain and the European Union, with support from UNHCR and IOM, hosted an International Donor’s Conference for Venezuelan refugees and migrants facing increased challenges due to the pandemic.
Per a joint statement, partners and donor countries have pledged a total of US$2.8 billion to support response for 4 million displaced Venezuelans.
Funding will back socio-economic integration, support host communities, and strengthen basic services and food and nutrition security

CENTRAL AMERICA & MEXICO: COVID-19

KEY FIGURES
17.2% LOSS IN REMITTANCES TO GUATEMALA (JAN-APR 2020)
4.8% POTENTIAL INCREASE IN PEOPLE LIVING IN EXTREME POVERTY IN MEXICO BY END OF 2020

GUATEMALA

Guatemala reported a 17.2 per cent loss in remittances in April compared to January. The decrease in remittances, which have accounted for US$10.4 billion as recently as 2019, can partly be attributed to the United States reporting 20.5 million jobs lost in April 2020 for an unemployment rate of 14.7 per cent, their highest rate on record.
Analysts say that this decrease poses a greater risk for rural territories with a higher reliance on remittances, as they may slide further into poverty.

MEXICO

The UN Economic Commission on Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) reports that COVID-19 may cause Mexico to have 4.8 per cent more people living in extreme poverty by the end of 2020.
This rise would increase the poverty rate to 5.9 per cent, the second highest rate in Latin America behind only Argentina, and placing Mexico as one of the five countries in the region where the pandemic stands to create the most increases in inequality.

SOUTH AMERICA: COVID-19

KEY FIGURES
90%+ OF COLOMBIANS AND VENEZUELANS IN ECUADOR CITE FOOD ACCESS AS MAIN NEED
$2M ALLOCATED BY WFP TO SUPPORT RESPONSE EFFORTS IN PERU

ECUADOR

According to a survey from the UN in Ecuador and the R4V Response for Venezuelans platform, nearly all surveyed migrants and refugees from Colombia (92 per cent) and Venezuela (94 per cent) cite food access as their primary need amid the pandemic.
Half of each group say they are struggling with employment or means of income. Between 20 and 26 per cent say they have not been able to access medical assistance.

PERU

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that WFP will provide US$2 million in humanitarian assistance for vulnerable population, including refugees and migrants affected by economic impact of the pandemic.
Some $1.5 million of this contribution will go towards cash transfer programmes, while the remaining $500,000 will go towards strengthening Government efforts to improve the humanitarian logistics chain.

CARIBBEAN: COVID-19

KEY FIGURES
$3.8M ALLOCATED BY DFID TO SUPPORT PAHO/WHO RESPONSE IN THE CARIBBEAN

The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID) provided US$3.8 million to PAHO/WHO to help eight countries contain and mitigate the spread and impact of COVID-19 by bolstering national health system response capacity. These funds will support the implementation of a six-month project covering Antigua and Barbuda, Belize,
Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.