Global perspective Human stories

UN to launch flash appeal for hurricane victims in Nicaragua

UN to launch flash appeal for hurricane victims in Nicaragua

United Nations relief officials are preparing to launch a flash appeal for victims of Hurricane Felix in Nicaragua, where over 34,000 people have been affected and nearly 8,500 houses damaged, according preliminary Government figures.

These figures are likely to increase as rescue brigades reach communities isolated by the rain and swollen rivers in the Central American country’s northern Caribbean region.

Meanwhile, a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team is still in neighbouring Honduras to assess the hurricane’s aftermath there, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) spokesperson Elizabeth Byrs told a news briefing in Geneva today.

On the ground in Nicaragua, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is providing blankets and water purification equipment. “UNICEF will help the national authorities guarantee the supply of safe water, hygiene and nutrition to small children,” the agency’s country representative Debora Comini said.

As part of this commitment, blankets and supplies worth $32,971 were sent on Wednesday as an immediate response for hurricane victims. The first urgent aid package sent through the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health included four mobile water chlorination units, each with the capacity to purify water for 1,600 people a day.

Together with the other UN agencies and in coordination with the national and regional authorities, UNICEF is working to respond to the crisis, coordinating with the Ministry of Education to organize emergency shelters, implement “educational bridges” to stop the school year being interrupted, and evaluate school infrastructure. It has so far been reported that 80 per cent of schools have lost their roofs.