Paraguay: Drought Appeal No. 31/02 Final Report
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Appeal No. 31/2002
Launched on: 24 October 2002 for five months for CHF 418,000 to assist 5,950 beneficiaries (1,193 families)
Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 70,000
Period covered: 24 October 2002 - April 2003
Last Operations Update 3 issued 21 March 2003
Appeal coverage: 105.6%
Related Appeals: 01.47/2003 Pan American Disaster Response Unit; 01.51/2003 South America; 31/01 Central America: Drought and Food Insecurity
The emergency appeal for the Department of Boquerón in Paraguay was issued in response to an extended drought which had affected the region since late 1999. At the beginning of June 2002, the families of Boquerón had almost exhausted their food and water reserves. More than 5,000 indigenous farming families were affected and 17 persons had died from diseases related to contaminated water and malnutrition.
On 2 October 2002, the President of Paraguay declared a state of emergency in the Central Chaco zone given severe drought conditions. The Paraguayan Red Cross (PRC) requested the support of the Federation for the launch of an international appeal. The operation was made up of three components: 1) provision of immediate humanitarian food and water aid ; 2) increasing the collection and water storage capacity in the target communities, specifically during dry periods; and 3) contributing to maintaining the quality of water throughout the water collection and distribution chain through improving community and family hygiene practices. The combination of these three interrelated processes was designed to reduce the vulnerability of the target communities affected by water shortages and water borne disease.
Initial research indic ated that affected families numbered 4,790 corresponding to 51 rural indigenous farming communities. The original appeal aimed to benefit 1,193 families belonging to 25 communities, selected in coordination with local authorities and the Paraguayan Red Cross. The 25 communities targeted for assistance were amongst the most vulnerable and poverty-stricken in the region.
The Federation began implementation of the operation in November 2002 with a disaster relief emergency fund (DREF) allocation when it distributed to the 25 communities 1,193 packages of 47 kilograms of food each (56,071 kilos). The second distribution cycle was implemented in December reaching 1,747 families from 44 communities. The increase in beneficiaries was due to the support of the US Agency of International Development (USAID) and the Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA). Furthermore, as of 2003, the Spanish Red Cross (SRC) with funds from the European Commission Humanitarian Office (ECHO) ensured food distribution and assiste d a total of 5,976 vulnerable families from 57 communities.
As a result of coordination, activities financed by the Spanish Red Cross were carried out following the Federation's appeal objectives. Given the funding provided by the Spanish Red Cross, together with a bilateral contribution provided by USAID/OFDA, the Paraguayan Red Cross operation exceeded appeal targets in the three areas of intervention. A total of 5,976 families (29,880 persons) from 57 communit ies were assisted with food distribution and 4, 149 families (20,745 persons) from 29 communities benefited from water distribution. In addition, 74 water collection systems of 40,000 litres were built in 74 communities for the benefit of 5,399 families (26,995 persons). As for the third component of the appeal, hygiene and safe water promotion, 47 communities were reached, assisting 5,211 families (26,055 persons). Not only there was an increase in the number of beneficiaries, but resources were substantially optimized through efficient coordination.
The beneficiaries of this operation were indigenous families from the following ethnic groups: Angaité, Ayoreo, Guaraní, Guaraní Ñandeva, Lengua, Nivaclé, Nivaclé Manhui, Sonapana and Toba Maskoy, which form the most vulnerable groups of the Chaco population. These communities do not benefit from sustainable incomes since 70% of the Department of Boquerón are subsistence farmers who were much affected by the extended drought.
As for the strengthening of the National Society, emphasis was made on the development of courses and workshops, through the implementation of two Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) courses, one National Intervention Team (NIT) course, one workshop for project proposal writing, the holding of a public event to celebrate the International Day and Year of Water and a workshop on Vulnerabilit y and Capacity Assessment (VCA).
The management capacity of the National Society was strengthened through the provision of systemized tools for operation al planning in emergencies and disasters.
The regional delegation based in Lima and the Pan American Disaster and Response Unit (PADRU) based in Panama, provided support to the Paraguayan Red Cross from the outset of the operation.
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