On Monday, the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (CABEI) announced it will donate US$500,000 to Honduras to assist 800 people affected by the Oct. 2 fire on Guanaja Island.
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"In these difficult times, our institution offers this donation so that the people of Guanaja Island meet their basic needs and try to rebuild the at least 90 houses destructed by the fire," the CABEI President Dante Mossi stated.
Accidentally caused by the flame of a candle, the fire spread rapidly across the island, whose majority of buildings are wood-made. "We began to grab buckets with water and throw them out to try to smother the flames, but the fire kept spreading," resident Odicia Nixon told the Associated Press.
Since this municipality does not have fire brigades, the Honduran Air Force deployed helicopters to throw water and contain the fire. Although no deaths occurred, at least four people suffered burns and had to be hospitalized.
Some families whose houses were destructed are staying in shelters. Others, like Nixon, opted for moving with relatives or friends. "We are very grateful to the people and organizations who have helped us,” she stressed, adding that her family lost everything after the fire.
With the CABEI donation, Guanaja Island’s Interior Ministry and Mayor’s Office assured that they will purchase food, drinking water, medicines, shelter supplies, and construction materials to build decent houses for the fire's victims.
Founded in 1960 to foster the integrated development of Central America, the CABEI has helped other countries of the region in emergencies. Last month, for instance, it granted US$1 million to the Dominican Republic so that it channels aid to Haitians affected by the 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook their country on Aug. 14.