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  • Guatemalas living in shelters face sanitation, health and lodging issues.

    Guatemalas living in shelters face sanitation, health and lodging issues. | Photo: Reuters

Published 20 July 2018

International Organization for Migration in Guatemala also reported 13 percent of people living in shelters intended to migrate.

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) reported Friday that 86 percent of Guatemalans who are in shelters after being displaced by the eruption of the Fuego Volcano had lost their source of work and income.

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In early June, Guatemala’s Fuego Volcano erupted leaving at least 125 dead, 297 missing and almost 2 million people affected.

The eruption prompted rescue and evacuation efforts. Over a month after the natural disaster hit Guatemala, 43 percent of persons remain without lands to continue agricultural production, and 41 percent remain with unmet housing needs.

The information was gathered using the Displacement Tracking Matrix through interviews with people living in shelters and has been given to national authorities, United Nations agencies in the Central American country and other international organisms.  

The report should serve to plan improvements in the conditions people are living in the shelters, which according to IOM have deficits in lodging, sanitation, and health. The IOM also announced they would manage US$320,000 to improve conditions in shelters and that they will run an awareness program among the displaced to prevent sexual violence and human trafficking.

According to the IOM report, this situation has driven 13 percent of people in the shelter to consider migrating, despite lacking permits to do so.

The Guatemalan government requested the United States a Temporary Protected Status (TPS) following the volcanic eruption, but the North American country has not responded to the request so far.


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