In response to the eruption of Volcano del Fuego – which has forced the evacuation of over 33,000 people living around Guatemala’s capital city, Antigua – Direct Relief’s long-standing partner, God’s Child Project was able to mobilize pre-positioned emergency supplies and immediately respond to the natural disaster.
Direct Relief originally sent the supplies as part of a hurricane preparedness module program, but the supplies can be used to treat a wide variety of health needs in any emergency.
Javier Castro of God’s Child Project said the module will be used to get first-aid medicines to those arriving at the shelter in need. The government asked God’s Child Project, or Asociacion Nuestros Ahijados, to open an evacuation center as it is located less than 10 miles away from the volcano.
The module, valued at $57,000, contains nutritional supplements, wound dressings, and antibiotics as well as medicines for certain chronic medical conditions and contains enough medicines and supplies to treat up to 5,000 people for one month.
Many of those displaced by the eruption are beginning to stream into Antigua. Castro reported that other shelters have been set up in nearby rural areas but appear to be struggling to meet the increasing needs.
God’s Child Project is one of 11 international partners in hurricane-prone areas to receive a Direct Relief preparedness module at the beginning of hurricane season, June 1. These emergency modules are versatile enough for any disaster and have been previously used to respond to flooding and the massive earthquake that struck Haiti in 2010.
God’s Child Project is a Guatemalan non-profit organization that provides clinical services to over 2,700 medically underserved children and adults per month. They provide these services through their clinic located on their site in Antigua and also work closely with the Guatemalan Public Health Care System and other international organizations.
Their mission is to provide health care education and empowerment to underserved families, widows, abandoned and abused women, and single mothers. These critical services are temporarily set aside in cases of local disasters as the staff focuses on more pressing emergency relief activities.
Direct Relief will continue to be in touch with partners on the ground in Guatemala as they assess their medical needs. Click to donate to emergency preparedness and response initiatives.