GVC (Italy), Alianza por la Solidaridad (Spain) and Acci ó n contra el Hambre (Spain) are international non-governmental organizations having joined their expertise in management of humanitarian action worldwide and now implement the “ EU Aid Volunteers strengthening the resilience and response capacity of vulnerable and disaster-affected communities in Middle East, Africa, Southern and Central America” project.
The objective is adding value to Commission’s European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations Department and other Humanitarian Operations with the support of 33 trained EU Aid Volunteers working within 19 hosting organizations in 12 Countries.
17 senior (more than 5 years of professional experience) and 16 junior (less than 5 years of professional experience) EU Aid Volunteers will be deployed in 12 countries (Bolivia, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Guatemala, Jordan, Lebanon, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nicaragua, Palestine, Peru, Tunisia).
The project aims also at building the capacities of local organizations in hosting volunteers, preventing emergencies and being prepared in case of disaster.
Moreover, Europeans and locals will work together to strengthen the resilience capacity of vulnerable communities in least developed and fragile countries.
More info about this project available here:
In the framework of this project GVC deploys 2 EU Aid Volunteers to Guatemala. To know more EUAV opportunities in this and other Countries with GVC please consult this page: https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/echo/eu-aid-volunteers_en/gvc-gruppo-di-volontariato-civile_en Operational details & security context
Guatemalan Western Highlands are mainly inhabited by indigenous and rural population, and the area is negatively characterized by the highest poverty, exclusion and social inequality rates. Due to their geographical location, the Municipalities of San Miguel Acatán y Malacatancito in the Department of Huehuetenango are affected by several problems, needs and hazards. At the moment GVC is working in this area providing humanitarian assistance (an ECHO project).
These municipalities lie on the geographic strip that crosses the Dry Corridor, an area that has been chronically affected by drought and prolonged heat waves. In addition, this region is highly earthquake-prone. At the same time, landslides, frost, forest fires and storms frequently hit this area. In November 2012, an earthquake shook severely this region, and approximately 60% of the houses presented slight to moderate damages and 30% severe damages. Also the recent storms Stan, Agatha and DT 12E caused the massive loss of crops and damages to houses, affecting a high number of families. Rock-slides and landfalls especially affect the communities of San Miguel Acatán, due to their topographical features and their steep slopes.
Because of the negative relation between natural hazards and subsistence agriculture, the level of economic vulnerability is extremely high, rural communities are facing food and nutrition insecurity because of the loss of crops due to irregular cumulative rains during the last four years and the impact of the 2014-2016 drought. Vulnerable families have less than two months of food reserves and suffer the lack of job opportunities and the declining wages from other complementary activities (harvesting coffee or cutting sugar cane).
According to the interviews realized in the base line, only 19% of the families depend on self-consumption and on their own crops, and most of them cannot generate income out of their small parcels so in many cases they are obliged to implement survival strategies to guarantee food consumption for their households.
People interviewed declared they do not practice any kind of mitigation measures, such as soil conservation, nor did they receive technical training on livelihood protection.
Guatemala is a relatively insecure country characterized by the presence of crimes linked to acts of common violence, the presence of networks of drug trafficking, youth gangs and widespread corruption. The reduction in the number of homicides reported by the Guatemala National Civil Police (PNC) does not correspond to a general decrease in violence, given that assaults, robberies and extortions are on the rise due to the increase in social instability that has raised the level of attention for maintaining public order and safeguarding security. In the last years, in fact, both at local and municipal levels it has been assessed an increase of common violence due also to the uncertainty of a corrupt political system that has ended with the fall of the national government.
The EU Aid Volunteer will be hosted by GVC Guatemala, responsible of coordination and implementation of activities at national level. The EU Aid Volunteer will also work in direct coordination with local and international partners members of the Humanitarian Consortium aiming to building local community resilience to disasters.
We uphold the Humanitarian Principles: humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independency.
We affirmatively engage the most vulnerable communities.
More information is available here: