There are 100s of families in Nicaragua and Honduras who have had their lives devastated by two major hurricanes, who will be receiving emergency supplies, thanks to a grant of £30,000 from West Lancashire Freemasons and the Masonic Charitable Foundation to Plan International UK.
Hurricane Eta made landfall on Nicaragua’s northern coast as a category four hurricane in early November, bringing catastrophic rains and winds at 140 mph, blowing off roofs and knocking down trees. Hurricane Iota, the strongest Atlantic hurricane of the year, then caused widespread devastation in Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador just two weeks later. Iota, also a category four hurricane, made landfall on Monday, November 16, just two weeks after Hurricane Eta had left 4,200,000 people in Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala in urgent need of humanitarian assistance. The storm hit almost exactly the same stretch of coast that had already been devastated by Hurricane Eta.
In Honduras alone, over 500,000 families have been affected and 1,000s have seen their homes damaged or destroyed by the winds, rain and subsequent floods. Schools and health centres have seen the brunt of the storms and roads and power lines have been destroyed, which creates even greater challenges for response teams and communities.
Children and families are in need of emergency supplies to help them in this critical period, especially given the additional risks of transmission of COVID-19 in crowded temporary shelters. A £30,000 grant from the Freemasons is enough to provide 553 families in Nicaragua with water and sanitation kits containing water, soap, sanitiser, toothbrushes, toothpaste and insect repellent, and 331 families in Honduras with shelter kits, containing mats, blankets, torches and mosquito nets.
Freemasons from West Lancashire have contributed to the grant that comes through the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Rose Caldwell, Chief Executive of Plan International UK, said: “We’re very grateful for this generous grant which will allow Plan International to reach families and young children in those parts of the region hardest hit by the hurricanes. It’s critical that we act now to provide this support to those most at risk.”
Tony Harrison of West Lancashire Freemasons said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help Plan International with their relief effort in Central America. This is a desperate situation and Plan International and the other organisations helping on the ground need all the help and support we can offer.”