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Flood: UN pinpoints needs of Bolivian families

UN agency pinpoints urgent needs of Bolivian families hit by floods

The most pressing needs of the 13,000 Bolivian families affected by last month’s severe floods include latrines, clean water, food supplies for children and basic equipment for schools, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today.

The six working groups operating at the Office’s On-Site Coordination Centre in the hard-hit Santa Cruz region also identified emergency shelter management and the psycho-social care of the people living in camps as critical needs.

Last week, OCHA announced the creation of the centre, which is coordinating health, food, shelter and education aid for many of the 13,000 families affected by the floods. The working groups include a team dedicated to infrastructure repair and the rechanneling of rivers as the Rio Grande River is now flowing up to 30 kilometres away from its original course in some areas because of the floods.

New rains are expected, which might provoke another overflow of the Rio Grande River and create new flooding. In the San Julian area, rising waters are causing an increase in existing flood areas and the affected communities.

The World Food Programme (WFP) and the Bolivian Red Cross have distributed food and relief items to 1,800 families in San Borja, Luna de Vaca and Riberalta and will extend operations to other affected areas in Beni when additional funds become available.

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.

© Scoop Media

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