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Bolivia: New UN base aids flood-stricken families

UN establishes coordination base to aid flood-stricken families in Bolivia

The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) today announced the establishment of a center to coordinate health, food, shelter and education aid for many of the 13,000 families affected by January’s severe floods in Bolivia.

The six working groups in the On-site Operations Coordination Center (OSOCC), established in the hard-hit Santa Cruz region also include a team dedicated to infrastructure repair and the rechannelling of rivers, as the Rio Grande River is now flowing in some areas up to 30 kilometres away from its original course due to the floods.

In Santa Cruz alone, agricultural losses amount to approximately $7 million, and thousands of hectares of farmed land have been destroyed, making no harvest possible until at least November, OCHA said.

In addition to restoring the agricultural economy, other priority needs in Santa Cruz include the repair of infrastructure such as some 300 kilometres of roads as well as bridges and water drainage structures, according to local authorities.

The UN World Food Programme (WFP), the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and the World Health Organization (WHO) have been providing aid to flood victims, with Argentina, Belgium, Chile, Cuba, Japan, Peru, United States and Venezuela reporting aid contributions to OCHA.

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