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Bolivia: Flood Appeal Remains Under-Funded

Bolivia: UN aid agencies say flood appeal remains under-funded

18 March 2008 - Less than a third of the $18 million sought by United Nations aid agencies last month following deadly floods across Bolivia has been received so far, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported today, as the situation in the Andean nation keeps deteriorating.

Floods are likely to continue at least through to the end of next month, OCHA said, and the death toll has climbed to 73 after another five people died last week alone because of the constant heavy rain, which has pummelled the country since late last year.

The number of Bolivians currently affected by flooding is estimated at 400,000, and of those some 8,000 families remain in makeshift shelters in 51 camps in either Beni or Santa Cruz department.

Agriculture has also been hard hit, with yields of some of the most important summer crops - such as soy bean, maize and sesame - down by as much as 90 per cent in Santa Cruz and 70 per cent in Beni. Although beans, sunflower and wheat may be planted from April to June, most of the inundated land will stay under water until late April.

So far, only 28 per cent - or just over $5 million - of the $18 million sought in the 'flash appeal' has been received. This includes $2.2 million provided through the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).

The money raised in this appeal will be used to provide food, shelter, fresh water, sanitation, essential health care and other basic items and services, while assistance projects in agriculture, education and child protection will also be funded.


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