IDF hurricane relief to Honduras
IDF hurricane relief to Honduras IDF Spokesman

The IDF spokesman reported that the army's humanitarian mission returned home upon completing its aid work in areas devastated by successive tropical storms Eta and Iota in Honduras and Guatemala last month.

During their seven-day stay in the region, the team operated in the cities of San Pedro Sola and La Lima, amongst the most affected in the natural disaster.

The delegation formulated a series of professional recommendations in the fields of engineering, medical aid, taking control of the situation on the ground, and reducing damage caused by the hurricanes.

According to the report, the team also assisted in the rehabilitation efforts in the village of Cruz La Valencia, hardest-hit by the storm. Most of their time was spent rebuilding destroyed houses, installing solar lighting and installing water system. The team played a central role allowing hundreds of local residents return home from improvised shelters. It also conducted engineering reviews and damage assessments of hundreds of residential buildings.

The team used advanced mapping technology to assess structural damage and monitored the mood among the local population.

Honduran government officials took part in the delegation's activities and were briefed on the team's accomplishments.

The delegation was led by head of the National Rescue Unit, Colonel (Res.) Golan Vach, included 15 IDF reservists, and was accompanied by Israeli Embassy staff, assisted by Israeli experts.

Golan said the delegation's success came as the result of experience gained by the IDF and Home Front Command during years of aid missions as well as advances in Israeli expertise and new technology.

He said the IDF would continue to assist disaster-stricken areas around the world, contributing its experience and field knowledge wherever needed.

A UN report revealed that more than four weeks after the tropical storms devastated the Central American nations, out of 5.5 million people affected by the storms, 400,000 remain in temporary shelters, while 140,000 homes have been destroyed, and as many as 330,000 residents are still cut off from emergency assistance in Honduras alone. Thousands more are stranded in the streets in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

At the same time, a Norwegian Refugee Council stated said that as of half a year ago, 5.2 million individuals across Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala were in need of humanitarian aid as a result of decades of violence, displacement, and food shortages. Last month's tropical storms served to compound the region’s pre-existing humanitarian catastrophes, where the coronavirus has also played a role paralyzing local economies and over-stretching the health system.

IDF HFC in Honduras
IDF HFC in Honduras IDF Spokesman
IDF mission lands in Honduras
IDF mission lands in Honduras IDF Spokesman
IDF relief mission to Honduras
IDF relief mission to Honduras IDF Spokesman
IDF delegation prepares for flight to Honduras
IDF delegation prepares for flight to Honduras Photo: IDF