4 November 2011: Following several days of intermittent rain due to a hurricane, a low-pressure system northeast of Guatemala developed into Tropical Depression E-12.
On 12 October 2011, Tropical Depression E-12 entered the Guatemala and produced more than 15 inches of rain in some areas, creating an emergency situation throughout the nation. On the same day, the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction (CONRED) issued an alert throughout the country, with specific attention to the Pacific Coast region. Initial assessments estimated that more than half a million persons were affected by Tropical Depression E-12. More than 21,000 persons were evacuated to shelters, 27,000 houses were damaged, dozens of bridges were destroyed and 29 schools are in need of repair.
Furthermore, other recent emergencies have exacerbated the affects of Tropical Depression E-12, including four earthquakes in September 2011 which displaced thousands of people, and the lingering affects of the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano in 2010. The Tropical Depression caused overflowing of rivers and loss of crops impacting jobs in the agriculture sector and livelihoods. As a consequence, food insecurity is expected to rise, reflecting on the nutritional status of the most vulnerable groups, such as children under 2 years of age and pregnant and breastfeeding women. Guatemala also has the highest stunting prevalence in children under 5 years of age in Latin America, and is ranked fourth worldwide in stunting. The timely identification of acute malnutrition, adequate management and referral are therefore a priority in order to prevent death at the community level.
The Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has provided more than $2.2 million for life-saving activities to assist 140,245 people in 7 departments of Guatemala affected by Tropical Depression E-12. These funds will be channelled to the World Food Programme (WFP), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the World Health Organization (WHO).
- UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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