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Flood-Ravaged Honduras Remains Fragile, UN Reports

Flood-Ravaged Honduras Remains Fragile, UN Reports

New York, Nov 5 2008 4:10PM

The situation in flood-inundated Honduras remains fragile, with rains increasing the risk of further landslides in new areas, the United Nations’ humanitarian arm reported today.

Some parts of the Central American nation are still only accessible by air, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).

Heavy rains brought on by a tropical depression last month caused rivers to swell and change course in some areas.

The Honduran Government said that over 250,000 people have been affected, with more than 40,000 residing in shelters. The death toll stands at 34, with 16 people missing.

Last week, UN agencies and their non-governmental organisation (NGO) partners launched a $17 million appeal to provide food, shelter, health care, water and sanitation over the next six months to some 270,000 people.

OCHA announced today that only 8 per cent of the funding target has been met, and although there are no severe food security issues, the next harvest has been damaged.

The UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) has released a $1.5 million grant, while a UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team has completed its work and left Honduras.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Guatemala – where 24,000 families have been affected and at least 5,000 houses damaged or destroyed – formally requested UN assistance yesterday.

In 16 departments, health, water and sanitation, food, protection and agriculture are priority areas.

The UN and its partners are scheduled to wrap up a two-day assessment today and will prepare a CERF application for funds.

ENDS

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