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Central America devastated by floods

Central America devastated by floods

November 1, 2011

Oxfam Canada is appealing for donations to support relief work in Central America, where almost 2 million people have been affected by floods and landslides since mid-October.

Tropical storms have damaged housing and water supplies and jeopardized sanitation and health of tens of thousands of people. Many crops have been lost.

Oxfam is working with local partner organizations to distribute food, water, clothing, blankets, mattresses, household items, personal hygiene items and medicines both in shelters and affected communities.

"We have to keep working to reach thousands more people," said Marian de Vries, manager of the Americas Program at Oxfam Canada. "These are the worst torrential rains experienced in El Salvador over the past 50 years and the UN affirms that the country faces one of the most serious disasters in its history."

Donations may be made to Oxfam Canada by phone 1-800-466-9326 or online.

Tropical Depression 12-E swept through the region in October, dumping a large amount of rain on already saturated soils in a short period of time, causing mudslides and floods in large parts of the region.

Devastation in the region includes washed-out roads, collapsed bridges, flooded homes and damaged crops. Heavy rains in Guatemala have damaged at least 75 per cent of bean crops in the western and eastern regions. Damage to other commercial crops such as coffee and sugar will reduce income, cause men to migrate for jobs and increase work at home for women.

The governments of El Salvador and Nicaragua have requested international assistance. States of emergency have also been declared in Guatemala and Honduras. The United Nations issued an appeal for $15 million for El Salvador Oct. 24 and for $14.3 million for Nicaragua Oct. 28.

Oxfam has been working since the early 1980s in the region and has responded with partners to several emergencies, including Hurricane Stan in Guatemala and El Salvador in 2005.


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Media contact for interviews in English or Spanish, photos, information:
Juliet O’Neill 613 240 3047,

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