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UN Rushes Assistance To Central American Countries

UN Rushes Assistance To Central American Countries Hit By Floods And Volcanic Eruptions

New York, Oct 6 2005

In the wake of devastating flooding and volcanic eruptions in Central America, the United Nations is rushing assistance to El Salvador and Costa Rica, while Secretary-General Kofi Annan today pledged to mobilize international support for relief efforts in the region.

Deadly flooding and massive mudslides caused by Hurricane Stan have killed over 100 people in Central America and southern Mexico and have affected hundreds of thousands more. In El Salvador, conditions were exacerbated when one of the country's largest volcanoes, called Ilamatepec, erupted twice in recent days.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has approved a $60,000 emergency cash grant for El Salvador. In addition, the UN Country Team there is appealing for some $6.5 million to meet the immediate needs of those displaced by the recent natural disasters.

OCHA is also allocating a $30,000 cash grant to Costa Rica.

The Regional Disaster Response Adviser for Latin America and the Caribbean is en route to El Salvador, and a team of disaster assessment and coordination experts is being deployed in the region.

"The United Nations is currently assessing the extent of the needs created by the flooding and mudslides in the affected countries," said the Secretary-General's spokesman, Stephane Dujarric, in a statement which also extended condolences to all those affected.

"United Nations officials remain in close contact with local authorities and stand ready to mobilize international support for emergency relief and recovery efforts," Mr. Dujarric said.

ENDS

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