Direct Relief is reaching out today to partners in El Salvador and Guatemala to offer assistance after widespread evacuations and damage from two natural disasters, the eruption of Pacaya volcano and flooding from Tropical Storm Agatha. The organization is tapping into its standing inventory to resource needed items to treat the reported more than 115,000 people affected and displaced. More than 100 people have been killed in the events, according to news reports.
The emergency response team activated last night to connect with partners in the region and identify specific needs for medical material aid. Direct Relief has strong relationships with trusted partners in Central America, built over the past decade. This includes the God’s Child Project, which provides aid to families—especially children—living in extreme poverty in Guatemala.
In addition to medical aid, with such large numbers of people forced to leave their homes and seek temporary shelter, the team anticipates a high need for personal care products such as soap and shampoo. These basic items bring a bit of comfort to the displaced and help improve hygiene in crowded conditions. Especially during flooding, water-borne diseases are a concern among shelter populations as well.
Direct Relief will remain in close contact with partners throughout Central America to monitor the situation and respond to needs quickly and efficiently.