United States Assistance to Guatemala during Tropical Storm ETA

Press Release

November 16, 2020

The United States provided humanitarian assistance Guatemala in the aftermath of tropical storm Eta, serving approximately 310,000 Guatemalans in 25 communities affected by the Eta tropical storm in nine departments (Quiché, Petén, Izabal, Zacapa, Chiquimula, Alta Verapaz, Jutiapa, El Progreso, and Santa Rosa).  The assistance included 23 rescues, 39 evacuations, more than US$363,000 in direct humanitarian aid as well as hundreds of thousands of pounds in food, water, and critical supplies (e.g., protective gear and hygiene kits).  This aid was delivered by more than 59 flights by U.S. and Guatemalan helicopters to remote and isolated communities.

Below are details of the assistance provided by the U.S. government:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention donated 2000 pairs of gloves, 2000 disposable medical gowns, 1000 protective glasses, 2850 surgical masks, 1000 face shields, 350 waterproof aprons, and coordinated the donation of 120 gallons of alcohol gel/hand sanitizer from the University del Valle de Guatemala.  CDC also translated and distributed guidelines for COVID-19 mitigation in emergency shelters.

United States Agency for International Development (USAID) 
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) invested over US$363,000 in humanitarian assistance, including food rations, shelters, first aid kits, utensils, and hygiene kits, for affected communities.

Department of Defense
The United States Department of Defense sent 2 helicopters from Joint Task Force-Bravo (United States Southern Command):  an HH-60 Blackhawk for search and rescue, and a CH-47 Chinook, capable of carrying large volumes of cargo.  These aircraft rescued 23 people, transferred 6 patients, re-located 39 persons, carried 30,900 pounds of USAID-assigned cargo, and carried 147,880 pounds of urgent life-saving rations (water, food, and other supplies).

International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Office (INL) 
The Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement of the United States Department of State provided pilots for UH-1 helicopters, which it donated to the PNC prior to the emergency, and provided technical assistance Guatemalan National Police helicopters.  INL cooperated with Guatemala’s Air Interdiction, Counter-Narcotics, and Counter-Terrorism Task Force (FIAAT) to fly 59 missions that transported 57,237 pounds of food and cargo to 25 communities.

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