The EU Regulation of the European Parliament and the Council establishing the European Voluntary Humanitarian Aid Corps – EU Aid Volunteers and related legislation create a framework for joint contributions from European volunteers to support and complement humanitarian aid in third countries.
Therefore, the EU Aid Volunteers Initiative provides opportunities to European citizens and long-term residents, from a wide range of backgrounds and with a diversity of skills and professional experience, to get involved in humanitarian aid projects, support the provision of needs-based humanitarian aid in third countries and engage in volunteering opportunities, through deployment and online-volunteering.
The initiative focuses on strengthening the European Union's capacity to deliver needs-based humanitarian aid by providing professional support through the deployment of trained volunteers to people in need. Furthermore, it aims to strengthen the capacity and resilience of vulnerable communities in third countries, through the implementation of joint projects between experienced humanitarian operators and local organizations in third countries.
The EU Aid Volunteers Initiative offers:
Opportunities for European citizens to become EU Aid Volunteers in humanitarian projects worldwide, showing solidarity with those who most need it,
Professional support by trained and well-prepared volunteers to communities affected by disaster,
Capacity building for local staff and volunteers of organizations in countries hit by disasters,
Technical assistance for organizations based in Europe to strengthen their capacity to participate in the EU Aid Volunteers initiative.
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In the framework of this project GVC deploys 1 EU Aid Volunteer 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 with 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.
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.
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