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Horrible situation in Central America

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I just got an email about this. The AFSC is the American Friends Service Committee, it's a Quaker service organization. I haven't heard about this at all!!!!

AFSC Responds to Disaster in Central America

Over the last week, Central America has been devastated by a
combination of tropical storm rains, flooding, mudslides, and
volcanic activity. The result has been widespread loss of life and
extensive damage that some are saying is worse than that brought
about by Hurricane Mitch in 1998.

There has been a generalized destruction of homes, roadways, bridges,
electric and phone systems, as well as food crops and animals, with the
heaviest damage occurring in Guatemala, El Salvador, and the
state of Chiapas in Mexico, with significant damage also in Honduras and
Nicaragua. The current estimates, with the numbers still rising, are
1,400 dead in Guatemala and some 44,000 people in shelters, 65 dead in El
Salvador with some 54,000 people in shelters, and 8 people dead in
Chiapas with another 25,000 in shelters. The total number of people
affected by the damage is in the millions.

While AFSC currently has no institutional presence in Central
America, it does have close, long-standing ties with partners that have
launched urgent appeals for assistance and to which it feels called to
respond. AFSC's response with its partners will focus, for now, on
providing emergency assistance for the tens of thousands
located in make-shift shelters.

In Guatemala, AFSC will be working with Association for Education and
Development (ASEDE). ASEDE is a long-time partner of AFSC working in
community health and development in rural areas of Guatemala,
primarily with people who were returnee refugees during the civil war.
AFSC supported ASEDE in its work training and creating
community health promoters, and also in its well-coordinated response to
Hurricane Mitch in 1998. ASEDE has played a key role in
Guatemala's risk mitigation efforts in the past years, and has a
strong presence in the areas deeply affected. They are calling for money
to purchase sorely needed items for people in the shelters
during this emergency phase, including food, water, latrines,
blankets, and medicine. 2 children have already died in shelters because
of hypothermia.

In El Salvador, depending on the resources it receives, AFSC will be
working in a similar way with three partner organizations that have
significant experience in emergency work as a result of their
response to the earthquakes in 2001. The first is the Coordinadora Bajo
Lempa, a campesino-run organization deeply involved in
development, environmental, and peace issues in one of the hardest hit
areas of El Salvador. The second is the Foundation for
Cooperation and Community Development in El Salvador (CORDES), an
established rural development NGO and a member of the Salvadoran
Community Marketing Network, with close links with COMAL-the Honduran
Alternative Marketing Network that grew out of AFSC work, and which
responded so effectively to the Mitch disaster. The third is the
Association of Community Promoters (APROCSAL), which focuses on
community health programs in rural and marginalized urban areas.

Go to AFSC website: http://www.afsc.org/hurricane/stan.php for
further information
post #2 of 7
The sad thing is that because it happened at the same time as the Asian quake, it got almost no media coverage at all.
post #3 of 7
Hurricane Stan, wedged as it was between Hurricane Rita and the quake in Pakistan, didn't get much publicity. I've seen some reports of whole villages being declared mass graves, because landslides destroyed them and all their inhabitants.
post #4 of 7
They ran a spot on it after the last Survivor aired. Ironic, that the last two places where Survivor was filmed was also hit afterward by horrible natural disasters. Not many survivors left there now.
post #5 of 7
It's so sad that we don't hear about these things. How terrible for these people!

That's one thing I've always liked about the Quakers...service and brother/sisterhood is put before all of teh politics, dogma and fine print.
post #6 of 7
Thank you for posting this. These people were poor and their suffering has been made much worse by Stan.
post #7 of 7
Today's Washington Post has a story about one Guatemalan family's plight: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...101601001.html
It's really sad - people who had practically nothing lost even that.
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