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UNICEF warns of triple threat disaster in Central America as hurricanes, pandemic, and disease outbreaks ravage region

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Posted: Friday, November 20, 2020. 1:12 pm CST.

By BBN Staff: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), on Thursday, called on the international community to join forces to provide urgent aid to prevent a critical health crisis in Central America caused by the passage of two recent hurricanes, Iota and Eta.

UNICEF has requested US $46.2 million to be urgently allocated to assist over 640,000 people who have been affected in the region.

“The region is not only facing the crisis caused by the pandemic, but it is also suffering from the lack of access to potable water for thousands of people after the scourge of Eta and Iota,” UNICEF warned.

“That is the money needed to cover the most critical humanitarian needs of over 646,000 people, including 327,000 children, repeatedly affected by floods and landslides in Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Belize,” UNICEF Regional Chief Laurent Duvillier said.

UNICEF further warned that stagnant stormwater and the absence of potable drinking water puts the region at high risk for outbreaks of other diseases which would further compound problems related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“That would be a triple storm: the hurricane, COVID-19, and new disease outbreaks. That’s what we have to avoid, a triple storm,” Duvillier said.

UNICEF warned that children and adolescents who survived both hurricanes are now at risk of dying from waterborne and other infectious diseases.

 

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