Bolivia

Bolivia: Internal unrest Bulletin No.2

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In Brief

CHF 60,000 (USD 47,300 OR EUR 39,000) HAS BEEN ALLOCATED FROM THE FEDERATION'S DISASTER RELIEF EMERGENCY FUND (DREF) TO RESPOND TO THIS OPERATION.

UNEARMARKED FUNDS TO REPAY DREF ARE ENCOURAGED.

The situation

Amidst continued unrest, the interim President, Eduardo Rodriguez, has been sworn in and is promising early elections. The situation of the most agitated sectors in Bolivia is now beginning to become calmer. The country is in truce status until next Monday, 13 June, according to some sectors of the population. Armed forces continue controlling strategic points in the country while the population hopes for an organized election process.

Gas and food supplies have started to circulate in a restricted way, but some roads are still blocked with the capital, La Paz and the town of Yungas being the most affected. Some public transport vehicles have been seen working while certain groups of farmers and miners' associations return to their home towns announcing that they will respect the truce until the new president has had time to take action.

Red Cross action taken so far

Since the initial information bulletin was launched on Wednesday, 8 June, and after more than two weeks' yellow alert in Bolivia, the needs of the country have continued to increase.

In relation to the requirements of the Bolivian Red Cross1, an allocation of DREF funds of CHF 60,000 has been released to fulfill the immediate humanitarian needs of the most vulnerable population with 1,000 food parcels which will be distributed to 1,000 families, together with dried food supplies for identified orphanages and rehabilitation centres in La Paz city.

The Bolivian Red Cross health post, functioning in coordination with the Ministry of Health has been assisting protestors on hunger strike and demonstrators. First aiders in two vehicles were mobilized in Sucre during a confrontation that caused the death of a miner and resulted in three injured.

The needs

It has been announced by the Bolivian Red Cross that the procurement and distribution of food are specific needs to be tackled for targeted groups: populated areas in extreme poverty in El Alto and vulnerable groups in hospitals, orphanages and prisons in La Paz. The supplies are for a three month period.

Coordination

The Bolivian Red Cross, the Federation and the ICRC are working jointly to ensure dialogue with the protesting groups and governmental authorities to facilitate the normal transit of Red Cross ambulances and to provide first aid relief to those affected by the confrontations. The Spanish Red Cross has announced a possible contribution of an estimated value of USD 17, 000 to support the preliminary plan of action of the Bolivian Red Cross. The German Red Cross has indicated the availability of some goods in its warehouses in Lima. The Swiss Red Cross and the Italian Red Cross, also partners of the Bolivian Red Cross, have been kept informed of the developments. Oxfam GB has contacted the Bolivian Red Cross through the Federation and has made available a humanitarian agent who will be seconded to the BRC. Oxfam GB also indicated that, according to needs identified by the BRC, any humanitarian supply provided by the Oxfam International Network will be channelled through the Bolivian Red Cross.

Budget outline

a) 1,000 family food parcels, containing 46 kg of food with 7 items per family. CHF 38 per bag including transport and distribution Sub total: CHF 38,000.

b) Dried food supplies for 10 orphanages including rehabilitation centres for the handicapped in La Paz city, including distribution and visibility Sub total: CHF 12,684

Total: CHF 50,684

For information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Bolivia: Dr. Abel Peña y Lillo, President of the Bolivian Red Cross, email: cruzrobo@caoba.entelnet.bo, phone: (005912) 2202934 / 2129225 fax: (005912) 2359102

In Peru: Charlotta Relander, Head of Regional Delegation for South America, Lima Peru, email:ifrcpe01@ifrc.org, phone: (00511) 2218333, fax: (00511)4413607

In Geneva: Olaug Bergseth, Federation Regional Officer for the Americas Department email: olaug.bersegth@ifrc.org, phone (004122) 7304535; fax (004122).733.03.95

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

For longer-term programmes in this or other countries or regions, please refer to the Federation's Annual Appeal. For support to or for further information concerning Federation programmes or operations in this or other countries, or for national society profiles, please also access the Federation's website at http://www.ifrc.org

Foot note: 1 Bolivian Red Cross www.cruzrojaboliviana.org