WFP Distributes Food to 100.000 People in Response to Floods in Guatemala
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Published on 8 September 2010

"We are just at the beginning of September. There are still two months of rain remaining and rains have not stopped. The accumulation of all these previous problems, in addition to the continuous rains, will increase the gravity of impact of any event," said Willem van Milink, WFP Representative in Guatemala. In response to the recent floods, WFP and its government counterparts began immediate food distributions to 7,800 families, mostly women and children, in the departments of Petén, Retalhuleu, and Escuintla. Food is also being distributed to 10,000 families who have at least one child suffering from acute malnutrition in all the country's departments.

GUATEMALA -–The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) is distributing food to more than 100,000 people in the 22 departments of Guatemala following torrential rains that over the last few days have resulted in overflowing rivers and saturated soil, leading to floods and landslides, and the loss of life and damages. Guatemalans were still recovering from the effects of Tropical Storm Agatha and the eruption of the Pacaya Volcano a few months ago when this new string of rains struck.

In response to the recent floods, WFP and its government counterparts began immediate food distributions to 7,800 families, mostly women and children, in the departments of Petén, Retalhuleu, and Escuintla. Food is also being distributed to 10,000 families who have at least one child suffering from acute malnutrition in all the country's departments. In the departments of Izabal and Santa Rosa, some 3,000 food insecure families will receive food rations. In all, around 20,000 families--approximately 100,000 people--will receive food rations.

"We are just at the beginning of September. There are still two months of rain remaining and rains have not stopped. The accumulation of all these previous problems, in addition to the continuous rains, will increase the gravity of impact of any event," said Willem van Milink, WFP Representative in Guatemala.

To date, WFP has assisted a total of 376,000 people whose food security has been affected by emergencies that have hit the country throughout the year.

The family food rations include corn, beans, vegetable oil, and corn-soya-blend (CSB) to fulfil the beneficiaries’ monthly food requirements and to further guarantee their food security.

WFP emergency operations are coordinated through the Centre of Coordination and Information (CCI) from the Secretariat for Food Security and Nutrition (SESAN) and the Ministry of Agriculture, through the Vice-Ministry of Food Security (VISAN), the National Fund for Peace (FONAPAZ), the National Institute for Commercial Agriculture (INDECA), the National Coordination for the Reduction of Disasters (CONRED), national and international NGOs, various government institutions, and UN Agencies working in the country together with the humanitarian network.