More than 1.5 million children at risk due to the impact of Tropical Storm ETA in Honduras, according to UNICEF

05 November 2020
Floods in Honduras
UNICEF Honduras/2020/Rodríguez

Tegucigalpa, 5 November 2020 — More than 1.5 million children are being exposed to the damage caused by the floods brought by Tropical Storm Eta as it passes through Honduras, UNICEF has announced today. 

“This is the worst storm Honduras has seen in decades. The damage will undoubtedly be significant,” says Mark Connolly, UNICEF Representative in Honduras. “Waterborne diseases are the first threat to children in these situations, our first priority is to ensure that children have sufficient clean water and hygiene.”

Heavy rains in the eastern, central and northern areas hit Honduras, increasing the risk of floods and landslides. Airports remain closed and the Honduran government has declared an indefinite red alert in the country's 18 departments and has ordered mandatory evacuations in high-risk areas. As of 5 November, official reports include: 2 victims, 934 families affected, 360,170 people affected, 581 families evacuated, 2,776 people evacuated, 719 families in temporary shelters, 3,539 people in shelters and 200 people rescued.

UNICEF is working to support the Government's humanitarian response through mental health and psychosocial support services in the most affected communities, reaching approximately 2,000 children, adolescents and their families, who are currently in temporary shelters. $16,000 have also been made available to support the immediate installation of 3 emergency shelters in the coastal city of Puerto Cortés, which will be a temporary shelter for 400 children and their families.

In addition, the Humanitarian Country Team has been activated, led by the United Nations System and the Permanent Contingency Commission (COPECO) to complement the humanitarian response actions of the National Risk Management System (SINAGER) in the face of this crisis.

To keep the population informed and prepared for the possible effects of Tropical Storm Eta, UNICEF has activated an informative Bot through the U-Report Honduras platform. During the first 48 hours, more than 15,230 people interacted with the Bot, receiving important messages before, during and after the emergency.

In a country where fewer than 1 in 5 people in rural areas have access to proper sanitation, and 40% of people use unsafe water sources, it is feared that the rains caused by Eta will worsen an already precarious situation.

 

SPOKESPERSONS:

Mark Connolly, Representative, mconnolly@unicef.org
Carolina Carias, Emergency Officer, carias@unicef.org
Hector Espinal, Communication Specialist, hespinal@unicef.org 
Lea Beaudry, Child Protection Specialist , lbeaudry@unicef.org  

 

Media contacts

Alfonso Fernández Reca
Regional Communication Specialist
UNICEF Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Tel: +507 69412277,

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