Reina Hernández has a mobility disability and uses a wheelchair to move around. She and her family had to be evacuated from their home in Choloma municipality in Cortes, Northern Honduras, after Hurricane Eta hit in December.
The family is now living in a church which has been converted to a temporary shelter.
Reina recalls that the family lost their beds, kitchen supplies and everything inside their house because of the hurricane. They still cannot return because there is no running water or access to other essential services.
Helping families rebuild their lives
The Hernandez family is one of 250 families displaced from their homes in Choloma who have received financial support from GOAL to help rebuild their lives. The initiative is being supported by the Start Fund and Plan International. More than 58,000 people in the city were affected by the hurricane. Tragically, 14 people lost their lives.
The families, around 2,500 people, received approximately $100 to meet urgent needs such as food, medicines, and other essential items.
Said Reina: “In my family, we are ten people. With this support I can buy a bed, a stove and some medicine. We are grateful to GOAL for their help.”
Alejandro Borjas, GOAL’s Hurricane Eta and Iota Humanitarian Response Project Coordinator, said: “Humanitarian aid in the form of cash transfer gives people dignity. It enables people to prioritize their own basic needs, make choices for themselves, and do what is best for their family.”
“With this initiative, we are prioritizing the families worst affected. Especially seniors, single mothers, and people with disabilities. Families have also been provided with mattresses, pillows, and blankets. Covid-19 prevention kits have also been supplied.” Working with Plan International, GOAL teams have provided support to over 23,000 people affected by Hurricane Eta and Iota.
GOAL is also working with the Choloma Municipal Emergency Committee (CODEM) to deliver hygiene kits and cleaning supplies to more than 500 families in temporary shelters such as schools and churches.
Working with local authorities
Alexander Mejía, the chief operating officer of CODEM, said: “Entire communities have been destroyed. We are talking about a 70% loss of infrastructure, energy, roads, drinking water and sewerage systems. These families have lost everything but this support can help them recover.”
Karen Bonilla, a mother of three, said: “We lost a lot of things, and it really affects us financially. Thank God for this money. We’ll use it to buy a bed for the children.” Unfortunately, Karen’s house is covered in wet mud and the family of six are still unable to return home.
Hurricanes Eta and Iota struck in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic. 125,000 people have been infected and over 3,100 people have lost their lives in Honduras. Hurricanes Eta and Iota have affected more than four million people and left 2.5 million people in need. 92,000 people are currently seeking refuge in shelters. A further 62,000 people have experience severe damage to their homes.