Disaster Update: Flooding in Paraguay

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The Paraguayan Red Cross is carrying out response operations following the recent floods that have affected the southern part of the country and left more than 200,000 people homeless.

The American Red Cross is providing 2,000 hygiene kits, which contain personal hygiene supplies like soap and toothbrushes. Additionally the American Red Cross is contributing $45,000 to assist with transportation of relief supplies from a Red Cross warehouse in Panama.

In Asunción, flood levels like these have not been seen since 1983. The rise of the rivers, constant rain and the cold have come together affecting both urban and rural communities and leaving more than 200,000 people homeless. There is little access to food, and livelihoods are in danger. Flood waters have forced many to leave their homes with what little they have left on their shoulders. Some of the families seeking refuge have built temporary shelters made of collected wood, discarded poles and metal roofs.

More and more people are occupying free space with permission from the Municipality, others are settling on the sidewalks. The risks are increased by sanitation access problems caused by a shortage of portable toilets.
The Red Cross is responding to the needs of 22,500 people with water distribution, sanitation and hygiene support, disaster preparedness to prevent future events, and livelihoods support. In addition Red Cross water and sanitation specialists have been sent to the region.

“We have deployed our specialists in water and sanitation as well as shelter and human settlements to support the response operation and plan for the recovery process, which we recognize will take time and will require more resources on the part of the state, humanitarian actors and the private sector,” said Benoit Porte, IFRC’s Pan-American Disaster Response Unit Coordinator.

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