San Salvador, El Salvador, January 16, 2020 — This week’s reports of a Central America caravan making its way to the United States is the latest visceral example of the symptoms of political turmoil, extreme poverty and rampant violence that encompass the humanitarian crisis in Central America.
Scott Lea, International Rescue Committee’s Acting Country Director for Northern Central America, said, “The current Central American caravan brings critical attention to the horrors that are forcing individuals and families to flee. This is not about the potential hope that awaits on the other side; it is about the destitution and insecurity that they left behind. Violence is rampant and communities are controlled by armed actors. Women, children and members of the LGBTQ community are at greatest risk, without access to services and psychosocial support. We must increase international aid spending to address this crisis in places where people are living, otherwise countless more people will risk a dangerous path to escape."
The IRC is currently responding in Honduras through CuéntaNos. CuentaNos.org (“tell us” in Spanish) is an interactive platform that provides critical and trustworthy information through a dynamic map and up to date information bulletins, available in El Salvador, Honduras and, soon, Guatemala. The platform has been designed for people facing a multitude of situations, whether fleeing gender-based violence, being forcibly returned to the country or fleeing violence in a caravan. Users are empowered to seek services based on their needs, location, or future destination on a range of services such as shelter, health, education, legal assistance and more, targeted to the population at large as well as known vulnerable groups such as women, children, the LGTBQ community, returnees and those with disabilities. The platform has over 160,000 page views as of December 2019. CuéntaNos has just recently partnered with the technology company Twilio to provide users with direct communication with moderators through WhatsApp messaging.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing, and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, the IRC is at work in over 40 countries and over 20 U.S. cities helping people to survive, reclaim control of their future, and strengthen their communities. Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow the IRC on Twitter & Facebook.