The Humanitarian Country Team in Honduras today launched a Flash Appeal to respond to the needs of 450,000 of the most vulnerable people in provinces affected by Tropical Storm Eta.
Response efforts continue as the heavy rains brought by Eta triggered floods countrywide, causing catastrophic damage across nearly all of Honduras’s 18 departments and generating significant humanitarian needs. The storm has affected more than 2 million people, severely impacting the northern Atlantic departments of Atlántida, Cortés, Santa Bárbara and Yoro, including the Sula Valley, home to 30 per cent of the country’s population. As a new Tropical Storm, Iota, was about to hit the country this week, more than 45,000 people were already in official shelters, 80 per cent of them in San Pedro Sula.
The plan has been developed based on assessment findings and information provided by national authorities, geospatial data analysis and impact scenario constructions that enable humanitarian partners to kick-start immediate life-saving and protection activities.
The plan calls for US$69.2 million to deliver and implement humanitarian activities to the affected population, in support of the Government’s response. The passage of Eta has exacerbated existing vulnerabilities that, combined with the impact of COVID-19, have greatly increased humanitarian needs, requiring a comprehensive response in food security, health, WASH, shelter, protection and education, to avoid a further deterioration of the humanitarian situation.
The battered Caribbean coasts of Honduras, home to many indigenous and Afro-Honduran communities, have some of the country’s highest rates of COVID-19 cases per capita. The pandemic also hit the country as it was facing its worst dengue outbreak, with more than 112,000 cases and 180 deaths in 2019. The epidemics have considerably increased health risks in shelters, where gender-based violence is also raising concerns.
“Eta is an emergency on top of many others’ emergencies – included COVID-19. We need to have a strong and coordinated response to the humanitarian needs of the Honduran population to ensure their well-being, leaving no one behind. We are talking about people who have had to deal with one vulnerability on top of another. Cooperation and solidarity are truly important during this difficult time,” Resident Coordinator/Humanitarian Coordinator Alice Shackelford said during the launch of the Flash Appeal.
The plan aims to save lives and livelihoods by providing immediate, integrated humanitarian assistance and protection to those people with the most urgent needs; restoring livelihoods and access to critical services to promote the rapid recovery of the most affected communities; and addressing the needs and advocating for the rights of vulnerable populations such as women, boys and girls, and persons with disabilities.
“In the midst of a triple emergency, the Government greatly appreciates the coordinated work the Humanitarian Country Team, led by the United Nations and COPECO, has done around the COVID-19 pandemic and now Tropical Storm Eta. It is through this kind of cooperation that we can ensure that help arrives to people in urgent need,” said Lisandro Rosales, Secretary of Foreign Relations and International Cooperation of Honduras.