72 tons of food aid for quake-stricken Guatemala: WFP

November 19, 2012

GUATEMALA CITY – The World Food Program has begun distributing some 72 tons of emergency food aid to help victims of last week’s powerful earthquake, officials at the international agency said Saturday.

“We are working diligently to continue giving an immediate response to the needs of people in need of shelter,” Anne Valand, an official with the United Nations-run group, said in a statement.

The WFP said the food aimed to help the Central American country’s 13,000 quake victims, many of whose homes were damaged and lives disrupted by the Nov. 7 quake off the coast of western Guatemala.

Forty-four people died in the magnitude-7.4 quake, making it the country’s most violent seismic event since 1976, when almost 23,000 people perished in an earthquake. The same area was hit by a magnitude-6.2 aftershock three days later.

The food aid included corn, beans, cooking oil and enriched flour, said the WFP, which said the staples were meant to tide over needy families for about 10 days.

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