Many communities remain cut off from aid one week after Hurricane Stan hits Guatemala

Published: 22 November 2005

Many communities in Guatemala are facing increasing risk of disease and do not have access to food and water one week after Hurricane Stan hit the country, international agency Oxfam warned today.

Many communities in Guatemala are facing increasing risk of disease and do not have access to food and water one week after Hurricane Stan hit the country, international agency Oxfam warned today.


Carlos Aldana, aid worker for Oxfam in Guatemala explained that many communities were out of reach:

"Torrential rains stopped for little more than 24 hours earlier this week. It is only now, more than one week after Hurricane Stan hit Guatemala, that we are learning the scope of this tragedy,” said Carlos Aldana. “Many of the communities that are still isolated by mudslides are starting to suffer from hunger, lack of water and the risk of disease."

Oxfam International has identified 2,000 families in urgent need in five of the most affected regions: Sololá, San Marcos, Huehuetenango, Retalhuleu and Quetzaltenango. The agency will be providing food, clean water, blankets and road clearing tools to improve access to those in most need.

Mudslides and debris mean that access by land remains very difficult following the floods in the Southern Coast region and landslides in the Pacific plains. Oxfam International is coordinating with the International Agencies Consortium, local authorities and other organizations to facilitate aid distribution to the victims.

Oxfam’s team of seven began work as soon as the Hurricane struck, and this week four more humanitarian workers, including two water engineers, will fly out to join the team.

Fifty-seven percent of people in Guatemala live in poverty and the rate is higher in rural areas, where most of quake affected communities live.

"This new disaster will lead to further impoverishment because people have not only lost family members, houses and essential possessions, but also up to 30 per cent of their coffee crops have been destroyed", added Aldana.

Contact Information

For more information, please contact:
Carmen Rodriguez in Madrid on + 34 91 204 67 20 or + 34 615 359 401
Hector Oliva in Guatemala (from Oct.12th on) on + 34 618 783 525