Money donated by Freemasons in Lincolnshire has contributed to £30,000 sent to support hundreds of families in Nicaragua and Honduras who have had their lives devastated by two major hurricanes.
The money has been given to Plan International UK, who will use it to provide emergency supplies. 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 16th, just two weeks after Hurricane Eta had left 4.2 million 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 half a million families have been affected and thousands 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 kitscontaining water, soap, sanitiser, toothbrushes, toothpaste and insect repellent, and 331 families in Honduras with shelter kits, containing mats, blankets, torches and mosquito nets.
The £30,000 grant comes through the Freemasons’ charity 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.”
Dave Wheeler, Lincolnshire’s ProvincialGrand Master, 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.”