Hurricane Eta in Central America: Urgent Need for Aid as Countries Realize Scope of Devastation

COCONUT CREEK, Fla. (Nov. 11, 2020) Thousands of families throughout Central America, already reeling from the crippling effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, face a new wave of misery brought by devastating flooding and landslides, one week after Hurricane Eta slammed into Nicaragua.

Even more help will be needed to assist families who lost their homes and have no access to food or clean water.

Food For The Poor is continuing to assess needs in the countries most affected by Eta, including Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Belize and Jamaica, to gear up a quick response with additional aid to support relief efforts under way.


Food For The Poor Collection Drive

Many South Floridians want to do what they can to help. The charity will collect goods for Hurricane Eta relief at its Coconut Creek warehouse, 6401 Lyons Road, starting today from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays.

Items accepted include: nonperishable foods, canned milk, baby food and cereal, baby items such as diapers, wipes, blankets and gently used clothes, adult diapers, personal hygiene products such as soap, tools such as shovels, rainboots, raincoats and work gloves, heavy duty trash bags and buckets for cleanup, non-aerosol insect repellent, cots or sleeping mats, and first-aid items such as Band-Aid bandages, gauze and kits.

Items should have expiration dates no earlier than May 2021 to ensure they can be shipped.

For more information, please to go to www.foodforthepoor.org/etarelief.
In Nicaragua, as many as 130,000 people are affected with 47,000 relocated to emergency shelters.

Officials are still determining the number of damaged homes, but a preliminary count estimates about 1,700 with most of them near the Caribbean coast where Eta made landfall Tuesday. In Bilwi alone, 5,000 people have been affected and 500 homes are severely damaged.

Thousands of wells were contaminated because of overflowing rivers and damaged latrines as well as intrusion of salt water. Crops have been destroyed which is expected to lead to greater food insecurity.

In Honduras, at least 150,000 families have been displaced. More than 50 were reportedly killed as a result of the storm.

Children in four of Food For The Poor's Angels Of Hope Homes in Honduras were evacuated and sent to temporary shelters.

In northern Guatemala, at least 81,500 people have been affected with 1,122 homes destroyed. Many families have evacuated their homes and fled to 50 shelters in the region.

The death toll in Central America has climbed to more than 100 and it continues to rise as the countries begin to realize the full scope of the devastation, according to news reports.

Even in Jamaica, far from Eta's landfall, areas of the country are isolated because of mudslides and significant damage to roads and bridges due to flooding from the storm's spiral bands.

"Our brothers and sisters in Central America were already struggling because of COVID-19 and now they have been walloped by a catastrophic hurricane," said Food For The Poor President/CEO Ed Raine. "We know the goods we're sending mean the world to these families, but it's going to take a long time for these countries to recover. More help will be needed. Food For the Poor is committed to being there every step of the way with the help of our compassionate donors and partners."

To date, the charity's response has included:

  • Three disaster kits to Honduras and one to Guatemala.
  • Eighteen containers of aid, including 14 to Honduras with corn, blankets, tote bags, work gloves, bowls, food containers, serving trays and furniture; three to Guatemala and one to Belize, all with disaster blankets.
  • Eight containers of food to Honduras.
  • Sixteen containers filled with food, cleaning supplies and medical items, which are on the way to Honduras.
A special appeal for Nicaragua is under way, and relief supplies will be purchased in-country.

The disaster kits contain multiple pallets of food, face masks, personal cleaning wipes, disaster blankets, tarps, portable stoves and bandages. In addition to pre-positioning supplies each hurricane season, FFTP organizes disaster relief kits with essential items that can be airfreighted and distributed within days to affected families in countries served by the charity.

To help the victims of Hurricane Eta, cash donations are best. To make a donation, please go to: www.FoodForThePoor.org/eta.

Individuals who wish to donate relief items also can do so via Food For The Poor's Amazon list: www.FoodForThePoor.org/hurricanesupplies.
Food For The Poor, one of the largest international relief and development organizations in the nation, does much more than feed millions of hungry children and families living in poverty primarily in 17 countries of the Caribbean and Latin America. This interdenominational Christian ministry provides emergency relief assistance, clean water, medicine, educational materials, homes, support for orphaned and abandoned children, care for the aged, skills training and micro-enterprise development assistance. For more information, please visit www.FoodForThePoor.org.

Michael Turnbell

Public Relations
954-427-2222 x 6054
michaelt@foodforthepoor.com