Flash Appeal for Guatemala 2010

11 June 2010

Duration: June to December 2010
Affected population
392,600 people, including:
96,500 people in 453 shelters
Areas affected  206 municipalities in 21 departments
Key sectors for response
Agriculture, Early Recovery, Education, Food, Health, Shelter, and Water and Sanitation
Key target beneficiaries
150,000 people for food
240,000 people for WASH
27,300 people for shelter programmes
512,000 children for education
Total funding requested: $15,533,045

The first tropical storm of the 2010 Pacific hurricane season, Agatha, made landfall on the Pacific coast of Guatemala on May 29, dumping more than 426 mm of rain in a short period of time and affecting 21 of the 22 departments of the country.  Rainfall and damage across such a large part of the country is a phenomenon not seen since 1948.  At the same time the effects of the Pacaya volcanic eruption on May 27 limited and delayed search and rescue operations as well the provision of humanitarian relief.  The eruption closed the international airport, and large amounts of volcanic ash clogged water drainage systems.  This increased the flooding, rendering many roads impassable and impeding or blocking access to vulnerable populations across the country.

To date, 174 people have been reported killed, and 110 missing.  Around 96,500 people are currently being supported in 453 shelters in 206 municipalities, in 21 departments, representing 62% of the total municipalities in the country.  In total, approximately 392,600 people need humanitarian assistance, most of whom live in isolated rural areas across the country, many of whom are all but cut off from assistance because of the damage to bridges, country roads and other transportation infrastructure.

As a result of the heavy rainfall several rivers, including the country’s longest river, the Motagua, have overflowed their banks, causing some 280 separate flood-related events.  Heavy losses to the production of basic grains and limited access to food and seeds have aggravated the current food insecurity and acute malnutrition emergency.  The Ministry of Agriculture (MAGA) calculated that about 25,000 hectares have been damaged or destroyed, representing $38 million in losses.

This overall situation prompted the Government of Guatemala to declare a State of National Calamity on May 29, which was ratified with Decree No.15-2010, leading to an appeal for international assistance of US$ 100 million, on June 1.  The Government is committed to addressing life-saving needs through its response, and is being supported by assistance currently being mobilized by UN agencies in-country, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Red Cross/Red Crescent Movement and the Humanitarian Network.   A Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) application was submitted on June 8 to address life-saving operations.  These humanitarian efforts will also facilitate the linkage between emergency response and early recovery. 

In addition to this Flash Appeal, an earlier appeal for Guatemala – the Food Insecurity and Acute Malnutrition Appeal, launched in March 2010 – is also currently active.  In order to avoid potential duplication, each sector of this Flash Appeal has carefully planned its operations so as to avoid duplication and overlap of effort, needs, and beneficiaries.  Populations already receiving assistance under the on-going food insecurity appeal will not form part of any caseload of this Flash Appeal.

In close coordination with the Government of Guatemala, and to complement its activities, the international humanitarian community, including NGOs, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), United Nations agencies, and the Humanitarian Network is seeking $15,533,045 to address the immediate needs of approximately 390,000 people who the Government currently reports have been affected by the tropical storm and floods.  Priority activities have identified in the sectors of Agriculture, Early Recovery, Education, Food, Health, Shelter, and Water and Sanitation.

Document History

11 June 2010

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