[Linked Image]

In the aftermath of Hurricane Eta

UNICEF is closely monitoring flooding in Belize in the aftermath of Hurricane Eta hitting Central America.

According to initial reports, around 50,000–60,000 people have been affected in Belize, including an estimated 21,120 children (35.2 per cent of affected population).

Damages have been reported to property and infrastructure in the areas hit by flooding, as a result of heavy rains. Cayo, Belize and Stann Creek districts are among the hardest hit.

UNICEF is particularly concerned about the overlapping of the at-risk communities with some of the current COVID-19 hotspots in the country. Moreover, extremely vulnerable families, especially children, already affected by the socio-economic impacts of COVID-19, are risking considerable loss of livelihoods.

With the ongoing COVID-19 emergency response, UNICEF's work with partners already addresses response activities, as it relates to risk communication messages on water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), psychosocial support for children, as well as nutrition counselling for pregnant and lactating mothers and caregivers of young children.

Additional response activities will include the delivery of approximately 350 critical hygiene and nutrition packages, as requested by NEMO, through the partnership of the Belize Red Cross and with funding from the United States Government through the U.S. Embassy and USAID. UNICEF’s partnership with the Belize Red Cross also includes the provision of child-friendly spaces and the capacity building of shelter managers, with the direct collaboration of the City Emergency Management Organization (CEMO) in Belize City. Quantities of relief kits, including hygiene and nutrition supplies, have already been distributed to the Government and are available at national and subnational levels.

UNICEF and partners are on standby, ready to support in case of need based on emerging data on the scale of impact.