BUREAU FOR DEMOCRACY, CONFLICT, AND HUMANITARIAN ASSISTANCE (DCHA)
OFFICE OF U.S. FOREIGN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (OFDA)
BACKGROUND AND KEY DEVELOPMENTS
- From October to early December 2008, heavy rainfall has resulted in floods across Central and South America. Areas in Belize, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, and Panama sustained substantial damage. Between October 14 and 29, Tropical Depression Sixteen caused floods in Guatemala, Belize, and Honduras. In November, heavy rainfall caused floods and mudslides in Panama, Costa Rica, and Brazil.
- According to relief organizations and government disaster management agencies, floods in Central and South America have affected more than 250,000 people and damaged or destroyed houses, infrastructure, and crops.
- As of December 3, USAID/OFDA had 15 emergency staff positioned throughout the region to respond to the floods. Working closely with USAID missions and U.S. Embassy staff, USAID/OFDA emergency experts have conducted damage assessments, identified needs, and coordinated assistance with local disaster officials.
- To date in FY 2009, USAID/OFDA has provided more than $800,000 to support the purchase and distribution of emergency relief supplies, including plastic sheeting, water containers, blankets, and hygiene kits, to affected communities in six countries.
- U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) disaster relief teams from the Joint Task Force-Bravo (JTF-B), based at the Soto Cano Air Base in Honduras, have delivered more than 293,000 pounds of emergency relief supplies to flood-affected populations in Panama and Costa Rica. The teams, composed of 68 DOD personnel from JTF-B, supported U.S. relief efforts in both countries since November 26 and have conducted 92 helicopter missions.
- To date, the total value of U.S. Government (USG) humanitarian assistance in response to floods is more than $2 million.
|NUMBERS AT A GLANCE|
|Country||Estimated Affected Population||Source|
|Belize||38,000 individuals in 24 communities directly affected, 814 homes damaged||GOB(1) - October 27, 2008|
|Brazil||120 dead, 31 missing, 69,000 displaced||GOBR(2) - November 25, 2008|
|Costa Rica||46,000 individuals directly affected, of whom 5,408 relocated to shelters, 4,600 houses damaged or destroyed||GOCR(3) - November 26, 2008|
|Guatemala||48,310 affected, 8,580 houses damaged||GOG(4) - November 4, 2008|
|Honduras||130,000 individuals in 312 communities directly affected, 13 killed, 9,000 relocated to shelters, 4,000 houses damaged or destroyed||GOH(5) - October 21, 2008|
|Panama||7,400 relocated to shelters, 5 deaths, 2 missing persons, 8 individuals seriously injured||GOP(6) - November 24, 2008|
FY 2009 HUMANITARIAN FUNDING PROVIDED TO DATE IN RESPONSE TO FLOODING
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Belize:
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Brazil: $100,000
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Costa Rica: $143,448
DOD Assistance to Costa Rica: $287,338
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Guatemala: $74,997
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Honduras: $436,072
USAID/OFDA Assistance to Panama: $164,678
DOD Assistance to Panama: $862,014
Total USG Humanitarian Assistance to Central and South America: $2,068,547