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In Central America, women and girls bear the brunt of storm disaster fallout

10 March 2021

By Sandra Cuffe


Hurricanes Eta and Iota pounded Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua in November, destroying homes and businesses, laying waste to agricultural land, and decimating longer-term food supplies.


Northern Central America is a disaster-prone region, but countries are not getting the attention they need from the international community, said Véronique Durroux-Malpartida, a spokesperson for the Latin America and Caribbean office of OCHA, the UN’s emergency aid coordination body.


“It is a region plagued by many inequalities, and those vulnerabilities can easily turn a ‘development’ situation into a humanitarian crisis, threatening lives, and causing displacement. Particularly vulnerable populations include Indigenous peoples and women,” she told The New Humanitarian.


More than half of the Hondurans still living in shelters are women and girls, who are also disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. The hurricanes exacerbated conditions that contribute to gender-based violence and limited access to reproductive and sexual healthcare, according to a recent UN Women and CARE report analysing gendered impacts of the pandemic and the storms in Honduras.


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