Swiss send aid to hurricane-hit Central America

A river in Nicaragua during the passage of Hurrican Eta last week. Keystone / Jorge Torres

Switzerland has sent CHF700,000 ($765,000) to Central American countries hit hardest by Hurricane Eta, which passed through the region last week.

This content was published on November 12, 2020 - 15:39

The funds will help survivors in Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala, where more than 1.8 million people are estimated to have been affected, the foreign ministry said on ThursdayExternal link.

The money is to be divided between the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies as well as the Nicaraguan Red Cross. It will be used to ensure emergency shelter and access to water and will also help survivors restore their livelihoods.

Eta, the 28th named storm in the cyclone-prone Caribbean region this season, made landfall as a category four hurricane in Nicaragua last Tuesday.

Described as one of the most powerful storms to hit the region in years, it killed at least 120 people across Central America and Mexico before moving north towards the US, where it has since weakened to tropical storm status.

Climate change

The Swiss development and cooperation office in Nicaragua writesExternal link that its priorities are “strengthening the rule of law and human rights, promoting economic development and establishing measures to adapt to climate change through natural hazard prevention”.

The region is susceptible to hurricanes and irregular rainfall (prolonged dry spells), “both of which have been exacerbated by climate change”, the agency writes.

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