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UNICEF aims humanitarian appeal following double hurricane disaster 

Posted: Tuesday, December 22, 2020. 4:07 pm CST.

By Aaron Humes: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is asking for contributions for the youngest and most vulnerable populations affected by Hurricanes Eta and Iota across Central America in November. 

Some 9.2 million people across the isthmus, including 3.5 million children, were directly affected by the heavy rainfall, flash flooding, and landslides caused by the hurricanes. Over 160,000 people have been displaced and hosted in shelters, including 64,000 children, and need access to protection, food, health, nutrition, water, sanitation, and basic services. In some affected communities, access to basic services was already limited and is now worsened by the effects of the hurricanes; restoration of basic services in such places is now urgent. Thousands of families have lost their homes and livelihoods, many already been impacted by the COVID-19 crisis.  

UNICEF is primarily focusing on urgent support for Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, which have a combined affected population of 3.4 million including 1.3 million children. Its response will be adapted to the specific needs of each country, including but not limited to protection, nutrition, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) services – including Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM), health, education, and early childhood development, and prevention of gender-based violence (GBV). 

UNICEF remains a key humanitarian and development partner in the affected countries, leading and facilitating coordination efforts among clusters and sectoral groups – particularly in WASH, education, nutrition, and Child Protection. UNICEF will link its humanitarian action and development programming to strengthen policies and systems and enhance the resilience of affected populations. 

UNICEF is part of interagency mechanisms and its response plans are aligned with interagency priorities. UNICEF efforts will complement the actions of authorities and other partners working in providing food assistance and overall support in shelters. The Honduras Humanitarian Country team issued a joint Flash Appeal, UNICEF requirements are in line with this inter-agency appeal. 

UNICEF will work in collaboration and coordination with local and national governments, whose capacities have been surpassed, and with its existing partners, developing new partnerships where needed, to deliver urgent support and restore access to basic services for children, women, and families in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Belize, that have been left in an extremely vulnerable situation after the impact of Hurricanes Eta and Iota.

 

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