Planeloads of Emergency Supplies Sent to Guatemala
In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Stan, humanitarian aid organization Action Against Hunger has sent the first of two plane-loads of emergency supplies from Spain to San Marcos, Guatemala. This shipment, which arrived on Monday, contained 6 tons of water and sanitation equipment including 10 water tanks, 100 kilograms of water-treatment chemicals, four electric generators and four water pumps.
ACF's first priority is providing drinking water and sanitation. Victor Arroyo, an Action Against Hunger water and sanitation technician, explained that "people have left their communities to gather in schools and churches. At this time it is crucial not only to provide potable water, but also to cover basic hygiene and sanitation needs to avoid the spread of epidemics, which could make the situation even worse."
Last week, Hurricane Stan rampaged through the Pacific coast of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico, leaving an estimated 4,000 dead and millions more affected. The Director of Action Against Hunger's Spain Headquarters, Olivier Longue warned, that "this natural disaster occurred just before harvest season, which will have serious consequences for the food security of thousands of rural families who practice subsistence agriculture." Initial assessments also discerned that much local infrastructure has been completely devastated and about 40 isolated communities have been left without access to safe water, food, and basic health care services.