CARE has strong community connections throughout Guatemala, having worked in the country since 1959, enabling us to mount a quicker and more effective response. Your contribution is a crucial source to help us position and deploy needed supplies and staff, make funds available to emergency-affected communities for immediate assistance, strengthen our ability to respond to future emergencies, and provide overall program oversight to ensure the highest-quality response.
The eruption on June 3 killed at least 99 people in the provinces of Chimaltenango, Escuintla and Sacatepequez and affected more than 1.7 million. More than 12,000 people were evacuated, and some 4,100 remain in emergency shelters. Given the large-scale population displacement, primary needs include shelter and household items such as mattresses and blankets, as many families are sleeping, unprotected, on the ground.
A CARE emergency response team is in the affected area assessing the impact of the blast and determining how best to meet the needs of affected families and communities. Urgent and medium-range priorities include assistance with water, sanitation and hygiene; food security; and protection - in particular for women and girls at risk of gender-based violence. CARE will then closely assess the particular effects of the disaster on women and indigenous minorities and craft our response strategy.
Once our assessments have been completed, we will develop a response plan to help meet both the immediate and longer-term needs of communities in the affected areas, building on our existing programs and humanitarian response expertise.