CBM Provides Support to People Affected by El Niño Rains in Africa and the Americas

 This is an image of a house severely damaged by rain. Two individuals are visible, one standing in the doorway and another just outside the structure, engaging in daily activities amidst these tough circumstances.

Seen here before the CBM intervention is Aurora's house in Honduras, in the San Pedrito Abajo district, which was severely damaged during the rainy season. CBM and Organismo Cristiano de Desarrollo Integral de Honduras (OCIDH) emergency response teams provided support, including restoration work for several houses and cash transfers.

Our humanitarian efforts are improving the safety and resilience of persons with disabilities affected by heavy rainfall triggered by El Niño.

Heavy rainfall triggered by El Niño has affected several African and Latin American countries, including Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Guatemala, and Honduras — regions in which CBM is active. This weather phenomenon, which has a more significant impact on persons with disabilities, has made them more exposed to environmental hazards such as floods and landslides. It also restricts evaluation efforts and their access to essential resources like clean water and healthcare and slows their recovery from destruction due to their unique needs and circumstances.

CBM’s increased humanitarian efforts in regions affected by climate-related risks are making a significant impact. The organisation’s focus on emergency relief and recovery efforts, including infrastructure restoration, inclusive action, and capacity-building initiatives, is improving the safety and resilience of persons with disabilities. CBM's targeted support, which includes home restoration, cash transfers, and agricultural assistance, directly benefits these communities.

Juliana Turqui, CBM's representative in Central America, expressed her satisfaction with the results.

 “We are pleased with the results we have achieved with our partners in Honduras and Guatemala and with how we are reaching the areas that have suffered disproportionately from the onslaught of climate and its consequences.”

The impact of El Niño

The roof of sinking houses in South Sudan


El Niño is a global phenomenon that causes various natural disasters worldwide, such as cyclones, floods, droughts, and fires. These conditions severely impact people's lives, leading to displacement of families, disruption of businesses and agriculture, and food shortages.

About 3.5 million people in Honduras face severe drought and food scarcity, while coastal areas deal with flash floods and soil erosion.

In East Africa, floods have caused approximately 500 deaths, destroyed infrastructure, and may lead to future droughts. The cost of damage repairs is estimated to be in the billions.

Over 400 livestock, 260 businesses, and 20 schools in Kenya have been affected. Schools remain closed due to ongoing adverse weather. The Kenya Red Cross reports 130 missing people, 235,111 displaced households, and over 40,000 directly affected individuals. These conditions raise fears of disease outbreaks.

CBM response

CBM and its local partners provide relief and recovery efforts to communities affected by natural disasters.

CBM is working on a project in partnership with Pastoralist Community Initiative and Development Assistance (PACIDA) to provide cash transfers in drought-stricken areas of Kenya. However, the region is now hit by severe flooding due to unexpected heavy rainfall. In response to this crisis, CBM's Inclusive Humanitarian Action initiative will provide additional support in terms of food and non-food items to families affected by the floods, with a particular focus on persons with disabilities in the Marsabit region of Northern Kenya.

After intervention: CBM and OCDIH staff visit Aurora, 78, after restoration work at her house is finished. The project aims to guarantee that persons with disabilities have access to inclusive recovery after climate emergencies.


In Central America, CBM worked with Bensheim Hilft to support families with home restorations, cash transfers, and agricultural kits. CBM is also collaborating with municipal committees to develop preparation and response plans for future impacts of El Niño.

CBM addresses indigenous communities' challenges due to recurrent flooding and water contamination in Sololá, west-central Guatemala. CBM partners are extending their reach to more persons with disabilities, building stronger connections with local stakeholders, and enhancing resilience against climate-induced risks.

CBM activities and initiatives

In summary, CBM activities and initiatives to support communities affected by El Niño-induced heavy rains and other natural disasters include:

  • Restoring and improving essential infrastructure damaged by natural disasters to enhance resilience and normalcy.
  • Providing assistance that caters to the needs of persons with disabilities to ensure they can access emergency supplies and services.
  • Strengthening local communities’ ability to manage and respond to disasters.
  • Assisting families of persons with disabilities to repair homes damaged by disasters.
  • Cash transfers provide financial assistance to those affected by crises, enabling them to purchase essential items such as food and medicine.
  • Distributing agricultural kits to families to support food security and livelihood recovery.
  • Distributing nutrition kits for malnourished children and lactating mothers in Guatemala.
  • Cross-border initiatives to address climate change and natural disasters in affected regions, such as between Guatemala and Honduras in the Dry Corridor.

CBM will continue adapting its strategies to the evolving challenges of climate change and natural disasters, ensuring no affected populations are left behind. Our commitment to adaptability and innovation gives us the confidence to face these challenges head-on.