10 November 2020 - Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua

Hurricane Eta leaves children without food, shelter and school, Save the Children warns

Press release

Save the Children helps children affected by hurricane Eta in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

With hundreds of thousands of children and their families impacted by heavy rains, floods and landslides after hurricane Eta hit central America, Save the Children has teams on the ground to support some of the most vulnerable families in the hardest hit areas.

Over the last week, an estimated two million people were affected[1] in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua alone, leaving many children without a home, food or access to school, the organisation said.

The hurricane made landfall on 3 November, leaving communities completely isolated by floods, blocked roads and destroyed power supplies. The storm forced hundreds of thousands of children and their families to flee to temporary shelters.

Save the Children is working in the region, providing support to those most in need and assessing what the greatest needs are for the most vulnerable children and families.

In Honduras, 1.8 million people have been affected, with more than 39,000 people currently in shelters according to COPECO, The Permanent Contingency Commission of Honduras. In Guatemala, more than 372,000 people have been affected by Eta, with the departments of Alta Verapaz, Petén, Quiché and Izabal being the worst hit. Save the Children is extremely concerned that the rains could lead to a spike in the proliferation of mosquitoes, increasing the risk of diseases such as dengue fever.

Victoria Ward, Regional Director for Save the Children in Latin America and the Caribbean, said, “Hundreds of thousands of people in Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua have lost their homes and their livelihoods due to this hurricane. Many have lost everything they had, only barely escaping to safety. Children are among the most vulnerable in these circumstances, and we need to make sure they are protected, have a roof over their heads, have access to food and health care. Events like this can have a deep impact on children.” 

Save the Children is already delivering food, COVID-19 prevention kits, blankets, plastic for shelters and personal hygiene kits in Alto Wanki indigenous communities in Nicaragua

"The prevention of COVID-19 in shelters is one of our priorities," commented Argentina Martinez, Country Director in Nicaragua. More than 47,000 people there are in in 325 temporary shelters, according to the Government.

To support the most vulnerable children and their families in Nicaragua, Save the Children will provide food, safe drinking water, blankets, personal protective equipment and cleaning supplies to prevent COVID-19 and other diseases from breaking out. The organisation is also delivering recreational materials to the local government, so children in shelters can play and recover from their experience.

In Honduras, Save the Children is delivering hygiene kits. In the coming days, the charity will be working to provide direct support to women and their families in emergency areas and shelters, providing psychosocial support and emergency kits.

In Guatemala, Save the Children has delivered 1,100 personal hygiene kits, 40 shelter cooking kits, 40 shelter cleaning kits, 5,000 masks and 500 bottles of hand sanitizer to children and their families in shelters in Quiche.

Save the Children is working in coordination with public institutions, community leaders and local organizations to reach more girls, boys, adolescents and their families.

We stand side by side with children in the world's toughest places.