GUATEMALA / PANAMA, June 9, 2018 - UNICEF is working with partners to provide essential support and services to the more than 650,000 children and adolescents living in areas affected by the eruption of Guatemala’s Fuego volcano. Over 12,000 people have been evacuated so far, while some 3,700 people – including hundreds of children – are now staying in emergency shelters.
"During emergencies like this, children may lose access to proper food and nutrition, healthcare, protection, safe water and sanitation,” said Carlos Carrera, UNICEF Representative in Guatemala. “It is imperative that we ensure affected children, including those now living in shelters, stay healthy and safe from disease and violence.”
UNICEF teams in Guatemala have conducted a joint assessment of the situation with the Government and its partners to determine the urgent needs of children and their families, and coordinate response actions, including:
- Provide psychosocial support to affected children and their families;
- Support family reunification for separated children;
- Ensure protection of children in shelters;
- Provide water, hygiene and adequate sanitation;
- Open child-friendly spaces;
- Support adequate nutrition for children, emphasizing the benefits of breastfeeding for infants;
- Ensure continued education and return to school as soon as possible.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org.