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AmeriCares Responds to Flooding in Bolivia

  • March 13, 2007

Stamford, CT, March 13, 2007 – Responding to an emergency request for help due to floods ravaging Bolivia, AmeriCares, the humanitarian aid and disaster relief organization, is sending medicines and medical supplies to help tens of thousands affected by the disaster.  The shipment includes antibiotics, emergency medicines and supplies such as gauze and bandages and has a total worth of $730,000.  AmeriCares on-the-ground partners Save the Children, Procosi and ProSalud will distribute the aid to some of the most affected areas.

“This is a community that has a difficult time meeting day to day needs under normal circumstances,” said Hector Emmanuelli, AmeriCares program manager for Bolivia.  “So when this disaster hit, we knew it was important to respond with medical relief to address the numerous health risks that accompany such an emergency.” 

Nearly 400,000 people have been affected by the weather and 25,000 of those are left without homes.  Due to a lack of sanitation and limited access to safe water as a result of the disaster, there is currently an increased risk of disease, such as malaria and dengue fever.  Respiratory and gastrointestinal infections have also increased exponentially.  Flooding is a common natural hazard in this impoverished country at this time of year.  But heavy rains since December 2006 have caused various rivers that feed the Amazon to overflow to such an extent that the country is experiencing the worst flooding in its history.  The floods have washed away homes, destroyed cattle and crops and caused landslides that have blocked off roads, isolating many rural communities and ruining livelihoods.                                 

AmeriCares partners Save the Children, Procosi and ProSalud were able to respond immediately to the crisis by taking advantage of medicines that AmeriCares had previously shipped in a regular delivery to the country as part of an ongoing program. 

AmeriCares decided to send more aid as emergency relief when its partners requested additional support.  The government of Bolivia declared a state of emergency more than a month ago.  The severity of the rains and the flooding is being attributed to the El Nino weather effect.

AmeriCares has been sending medicines and medical supplies to Bolivia since 1993 in order to respond to the needs of this highly impoverished country where 63 percent live below the poverty line.