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EU humanitarian aid helps the victims of Guatemala's Fuego Volcano

© Guatemala Red Cross
Ash covers the affected areas after Fuego volcano's first eruption on 3 June. © Guatemala Red Cross.

On 3 June, Fuego volcano in Guatemala erupted, triggering floods of lava and the emission of ash and small rocks. The eruption affected different areas of the departments of Chimaltenango, Sacatepéquez, and Escuintla. Access to the most affected areas is cut off after a second eruption on 5 June.

More than 12 000 people have been evacuated from the immediate vicinity of the volcano and rescue operations are ongoing. So far, 75 people have been confirmed dead and two hundred are missing.

In response the European Commission committed €100 000 in humanitarian funding to assist communities in the most heavily-affected areas.

This EU funding supports the Guatemalan Red Cross in delivering much needed relief, including the provision of shelter, emergency health assistance, water and sanitation to the affected households, and psychosocial support. The aid will directly benefit 3000 people who have been affected by the eruption.

The funding is part of the EU's €3 million annual contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This fund was established in 1985 and is supported by contributions from donors. Each time a National Red Cross or Red Crescent Society needs immediate financial support to respond to a disaster, the IFRC allocates grants from the Fund, which can then be replenished by the donors.

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