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AmeriCares has responded with emergency aid to Colombia for the 2.2 million people affected by devastating floods from the heaviest rains the country has seen in decades. Two shipments of critical medicines valued at over $3.4 million have been delivered since December for the 300,000 people who have lost their homes and their livelihood, and AmeriCares is readying an additional three shipments of aid.
Through its partner in Colombia, AmeriCares relief efforts have provided anesthetics, anti-infection and anti-diarrheal medications and supplies to flood-affected communities covering 60% of the country, including the hardest-hit northern region. These lifesaving medicines are critical at this time to combat disease outbreaks such as dengue fever and malaria that often follow major flooding.
With more than 300 people killed in the initial flooding, the death toll is expected to rise due to food shortages and malnutrition resulting from the half-million acres of farmland and crops that have been destroyed. With so many families forced from their homes, an estimated 500,000 children face an immediate risk of malnutrition.
“We are responding to a crisis that has compounded an already overwhelming rate of chronic malnutrition in Colombia where 15% of the children are malnourished and suffering from life-threatening nutritional deficiencies.” said Camille Grippon, director of Latin American global programs for AmeriCares. “In addition to our initial shipments of emergency medicines, AmeriCares is committed to supporting Colombia with medical, nutritional and other basic supplies through the entirety of this long emergency that has affected so many people.”
Two children receiving emergency supplies from AmeriCares second shipment of aid.
To specifically help these children in need, AmeriCares has facilitated local donations of pediatric nutritional supplements. AmeriCares has also provided a $20,000 local procurement grant to buy water purification supplies and medicines and is finalizing additional grants for the Ministry of Health and community organizations to continue supplying aid in the aftermath of this disaster.
Since 1985, AmeriCares has delivered more than $51 million in aid to Colombia. Through our local partners, we will continue to provide holistic care for the country’s most vulnerable populations, while focusing on maternal and child health, trauma care, and chronic disease screenings to bring quality health care to help the Colombian people.