Since the beginning of October, heavy rains from Hurricanes Stan and Beta have pummeled Central America, causing flooding and mudslides that killed hundreds of people and displaced more than a million.
In October, Hurricane Stan dumped rain on Guatemala and El Salvador for days, hampering rescue and relief efforts and impeding access to remote villages. The simultaneous eruption of the Ilamatepec volcano in El Salvador made conditions even worse. In early November, Hurricane Beta's torrential rains hit the Atlantic coasts of Honduras and Nicaragua, flooding more than 60 communities, contaminating water sources, and destroying crops and livestock. The areas affected are mostly populated by indigenous people living in extreme poverty. Many families have lost their homes and all their belongings.
More than 600 deaths have been confirmed in Guatemala, with estimates that the death toll may reach 2,000 or more. More than 100 deaths have been confirmed elsewhere in Central America.
LWR and partners are helping
LWR is responding to this crisis through partner agencies in the affected regions. So far our response includes:
- Providing mattresses, food, firewood, medicines, psychosocial and health assistance, and basic hygiene items for displaced people in El Salvador
- Providing safe water by rehabilitating wells and constructing latrines in El Salvador
- Providing food, medicines, and basic tools and household furnishings to displaced families in the Lake Atitlán area in Guatemala
- Providing assistance to local community organizers for rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in 30 communities in Guatemala
- Distributing water purification tablets to families in remote areas of Honduras
Urgent needs in Nicaragua include safe water, medicines, personal hygiene supplies and plastic sheeting. LWR will likely respond in Nicaragua through Action by Churches Together (ACT-International), a global alliance of churches and faith-based aid agencies.
You can help
The best way to assist people caught in an emergency is to give cash so that our partner staff on the ground can be most effective.
To contribute online, click below. You will be given the opportunity to choose"Central America Disaster Response" for your contribution.
Your gift will be used for the"Central America Disaster Response" until needs there are met. After that, further gifts will be used to help LWR respond where the need is greatest.
During regular business hours, Monday through Friday, you may also call 1-800-LWR-LWR-2, or mail a check or money order to:
Lutheran World Relief
Central America Disaster Response
P.O. Box 17061
Baltimore, MD 21298-9832
Please also consider making an unrestricted donation which will enable LWR to respond quickly to the next emergency.
Media contact: Emily Sollie, 410-230-2802, email@example.com