Honduras - Emergency assistance to flood victims

IOM is providing desperately needed assistance to thousands of Honduran families displaced by recent floods and landslides.

Thirty-four people were killed and tens of thousands displaced by floods and landslides that ensued when Tropical Depression Number 16 hit 17 of Honduras' 18 departments in mid October. Another 16 people are missing.

Many of the displaced were forced to seek refuge in public buildings and other temporary structures, most of them ill-equipped to house the homeless families.

As the lead agency coordinating efforts to improve living conditions in public shelters and with US$ 626,485 received from the United Nations Central Emergency Fund and US$ 210,000 from the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA), IOM is providing immediate assistance to families living in temporary shelters and will support those returning to their homes.

Working together with national NGOs and other partners, IOM is also providing shelter materials, household items and other essential non-food items to thousands of displaced families either left homeless or living in precarious conditions due to rains.

The Organization is also providing technical support to the Honduran government to manage temporary resettlement areas that will be established in the most affected regions, including Gracias a Dios, Cortes, Yoro, Atlantida, Copán, Choluteca.

Based on IOM's previous experience following Hurricane Mitch in November 1999 when it provided emergency assistance to thousands of victims, IOM will work with national and local government institutions and NGOs to ensure that all affected areas are covered.

IOM and its partners, including UN agencies such as WHO and UNICEF, will implement psychosocial support programmes for children, women and other vulnerable groups; provide support with birth registration and replacement of lost identity documents; conduct assessment missions to confirm immediate needs and establish the number of persons in need of assistance; establish a map of affected rural areas, purchase and distribute assistance; and provide assistance to families that cannot return to their homes.

For more information, please contact Jeremy Mac Gillivray, IOM Tegucigalpa, Tel: +504 220 1100 Ext.: 1516 Email: jmacgillivray@iom.int