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UN disaster assessment and aid team goes to Guyana

UN disaster assessment and aid team goes to flood-stricken Guyana

A four-member United Nations team has been sent to Guyana to assess the needs of thousands of people who have been forced out of their homes in the flooded capital and coastal villages of the South American country, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

Responding to last week's appeal by the Guyanese Government for food, boats, power generators and water pumps, OCHA had given an emergency cash grant of $50,000 to buy inflatable motor boats, while the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) had donated $75,000 and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) $100,000. OCHA said that logistics was also still a major problem.

A significant amount of water from four weeks of very heavy rain had drained from higher ground in central Georgetown, but then had caused the water level on the east coast to rise, forcing more people to evacuate their homes and seek shelter, OCHA quoted the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) - the UN World Health Organization's (WHO) regional office for the Americas - as saying.

The OCHA Regional Disaster Response Adviser (RDRA), based in Panama, was leading the four-member UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC) team and the other members were scheduled to arrive tomorrow, it said.

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