According to the Global Climate Risk Index, Guatemala is one of the top 10 countries most affected by climate change and one of the most vulnerable to natural disasters. Its precarious geographical position leaves it prone to earthquakes, hurricanes, tropical storms and droughts. However, poor housing, high malnutrition, and unemployment also conspire to make the country’s inhabitants even more vulnerable, with indigenous communities and farmers among the most affected. Although little can be done to prevent natural disasters, steps can be taken to mitigate the risks.
Every family building a new home participates in a 90-minute class about disaster prevention and risk reduction. In addition, we survey land in order to avoid high-risk zones and implement improved building techniques to better withstand natural disasters. Habitat Guatemala’s Disaster Risk Reduction Project is founded on the understanding that for every dollar contributed towards reducing risks before the occurrence of disasters, seven dollars are saved in the reconstruction process (UN-Habitat).
Since 1979, disaster relief has always been part of Habitat Guatemala’s operation. Over the years, we have provided around 3,200 housing solutions to families affected by natural disasters. Previously, fundraising to build subsidized homes in the wake of disasters resulted in a delayed response. In order to be able to offer immediate assistance, we created the Disaster Relief Fund.
Continual donor support for the Disaster Relief Fund enables us to provide fully-subsidized, progressive homes or permanent home improvements for victims of natural disasters. Fundraising for our Disaster Relief Fund occurs year-round, and the funds can be readily accessed once need has been identified.
For more detailed information about our Disaster Response and Prevention programs and how you can contribute please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org