Save the Children New Zealand says there is an immediate need for food, water, child protection, and sanitation to assist people affected by the eruptions of the Fuego volcano in Guatemala in recent days.
More than 1.7 million people have been affected, over 12,000 people evacuated, around 75 people have lost their lives, and nearly 200 people are missing.
A second eruption on Tuesday, with a dangerous mix of ash, rock and volcanic gases, continues to threaten nearby villages and put children, families and rescuers at risk. Save the Children teams on the ground working to keep children safe in the wake of the disaster.
"With hundreds still missing and dozens dead—including several children—the most recent eruption has brought more destruction and death to an already devastated area, and has left children in a very vulnerable situation,” Dr. Elizabeth Bocaletti, Save the Children's acting country director in Guatemala said.
"Children in Guatemala have just been through a very traumatic experience and now face the uncertainty and insecurity that follows a disaster of this scale. Many have seen their villages and homes buried by volcanic ash and mud, and have lost loved ones. In a situation like this, it is vital that we ensure there is protection for children, many of whom were separated from their families in the chaos of fleeing for their lives.
"Save the Children is on the ground working in emergency shelters. We are organising small groups to care for separated children until we are able to trace and reunite them with their families."
If New Zealanders would like to donate to help children affected by this emergency, please go to https://www.savethechildren.org.nz/how-to-help/donate/one-off-donation/