WFP Responds To Calls For Assistance In Flood-Stricken Central America

Published on 02 November 2011

“Recurrent natural disasters are exacerbating the food security situation of both rural and urban populations in Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua, which are also suffering the impact of high food prices.”
--WFP Regional Director, Gemmo Lodesani

In Central America WFP’s response includes:

•    Providing emergency food assistance to up to 300,000 people in Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador and Nicaragua;
•    Carrying out emergency food assessments with governments and partners to find out how many people are in need and for how long they will need food assistance until they recover;
•    Helping communities build resilience so that those affected by floods are better equipped to cope with periodic food insecurity;
•    The UN launched two Flash Appeals asking the international community’s support. In El Salvador, WFP needs US$4.1 million and in Nicaragua is requesting nearly US$9 million to bring food relief to affected populations.

Access new video and photo footage gathered by our media team:

Photos:
http://www.wfp.org/countries/Nicaragua/Media/Rains-and-floods-strike-Nicaragua
http://www.wfp.org/countries/El-Salvador/Media/El-Salvador--Food-Keeps-Arriving-in-Flooded-Areas-
http://www.wfp.org/countries/Guatemala/Media/Guatemala--Affected-Populations-Receive-Relief-Food
http://www.wfp.org/countries/Honduras/Media/Emergency-Food-Rations-Reach-Flood-Hit-Southern-Honduras

If you require high resolution photographs for print purposes, please send a request to Rein.Skullerud@wfp.org

Video:
Recent TV footage of WFP flood response is available. For details, please contact: riccardo.dicola@wfp.org  Tel. +39 06 6513  3612
Honduras video can be viewed athttp://www.wfp.org/videos/wfps-hetze-tosta-reports-honduras-flood-zone

Follow us on Twitter:   @wfp_media and @wfp_es 

Talk to our spokespeople in Central America:

Hetze Tosta waded through the streets of Choluteca, Honduras, where people lost their crops and jobs. Hetze.tosta@wfp.org Tel. +504 236-9002 ext 1633, Mob. +504 3190-5773

Elizabeth Sagastume saw houses flooded up to their roofs in communities in Petén, Guatemala.  Elizabeth.sagastume@wfp.org   Tel. +502 23 335 928, Mob. +502 59 94404

Tania Moreno tells of affected people improvising rafts, canoes and anything that would float to support WFP to transport food to where it was most needed in El Salvador.  Tania.moreno@wfp.org Tel. +503 2263 6144, Mob. +503 7861 5152

Santiago Tablada from the WFP Logistics Team reports that the Coco River in Nicaragua rose 10 meters, reminding locals of  Hurricane Mitch 13 years ago.  To speak with Santiago, please contact Sabrina.quezada@wfp.org   Tel. +505 266-5144, Mob. +505 855-5770

WFP Country Director, Miguel Barreto, Honduras:
“At the early stages of this emergency, WFP distributed food to more than 34,000 families. Now we are assessing the extent of damages to start the process of helping affected communities to recover.” 

WFP Officer in Charge, Irma Palma, Guatemala:
“Vulnerable families have lost their crops, which they depend on to survive, and at the same time food prices are increasing nationwide due to the crop losses. WFP is assisting the most affected families with food rations. But their number is increasing.” 

WFP Country Director, Dorte Ellehammer, El Salvador:
“WFP has provided emergency food to 50,000 of the most food insecure people affected by floods and is working closely with the government and partners, in ensuring assistance as these people rebuild their lives.”
 
WFP Country Director, Helmut Rauch,  Nicaragua:
“Our priority was to assess the extent of damage which allowed us to respond immediately to the Nicaraguan Government’s request for food assistance to affected population. It is important that affected people  keep  receiving the food they urgently need and to that end we are working closely with national authorities”