BAHAMAS: HURRICANE DORIAN RESPONSE
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) announced on 1 October that the US will provide US$ 7.5 million in additional humanitarian assistance to the Bahamas, following the catastrophic impact of Hurricane Dorian in early September. The majority of the new disbursement will support Samaritan Purse’s field hospital at the Rand Memorial Hospital in Grand Bahama.
Funding has also been made available for debris removal, emergency and transitional shelter for families with damaged or destroyed homes in Abaco, repairs to WASH infrastructure and emergency water supplies for affected communities.
GUATEMALA: RAINS AND FLOODS
Heavy rains continue in Guatemala, with 29 incidents, including landslides, floods and structural collapses, being reported across 12 departments.
Rains are forecasted to continue during the first half of October. The rains have caused mudslides on the Fuego Volcano, which continue to be monitored.
Approximately 194,947 people have been affected and 413 homes have suffered various levels of damage
Heavy rains over the past few days have helped put out forest fires affecting the Bolivian Amazon for two months, scorching more than 4 million hectares of land of which over 43% are protected areas. The government of Santa Cruz in coordination with the central government will carry out the recovery plan, and it is foreseen that specialized institutions up to the affected communities will participate actively. Per the Bolivia’s Deputy Minister of Civil Defense there are over 10,000 families affected throughout Chiquitania.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, met with refugees and asylum seekers during a four-day visit to Mexico. From a transit country for people hoping to reach the United States, Mexico has increasingly become a destination country for refugees and migrants fleeing crime and violence in their home countries. Since 2014, when Mexico received 2,100 asylum applications, the number of asylum seekers has now soared to more than 48,000 in the first eight months of 2019. Over 3,000 refugees have been relocated to four states in Mexico this year, as part of an integration and contribution programme through a collaborative scheme between authorities at the central, state and local levels, private enterprise, civil society and UNHCR.
According to Mr. Grandi, recent policy changes in the United States have created significant challenges and concerns, especially along the country’s northern border, for a Mexican asylum system which is already overwhelmed.
ECUADOR: CIVIL UNREST
On 3 October, a two-moth state of emergency was declared by the government following protests sparked by cuts in longstanding fuel subsidies. The elimination of these subsidies doubled the price of fuel overnight and sharply raised gasoline prices. Two days of unrest ensued in the capital of Quito and the city of Guayaquil, with transportation unions calling a strike and protesters clashing with police and blocking roads, leading fuel shortages in parts of the country. Twelve ambulances, including at least some from the national Red Cross, have been attacked.
While transport unions have suspended their strike, indigenous groups have vowed to continue protesting.