Nicaragua

Nicaragua: ADRA distributes medicines to 1,000,000 Hurricane Felix survivors

By: Nadia McGill

Silver Spring, Maryland [January 30, 2008]-Nearly five months after Hurricane Felix ripped through Latin America and the Caribbean, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) is continuing to aid survivors of the storm in Nicaragua through the distribution of more than $44 million in donated medicine and pharmaceutical supplies.

ADRA partner organizations Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief (CPAR), along with the Escarpment Biosphere Conservancy, donated the medicines worth $44,492,146, which are expected to benefit more than 1,000,000 residents directly affected by Hurricane Felix and the subsequent flooding.

ADRA is focusing its continued efforts on the North Atlantic Autonomous Region (RAAN), a coastal region of Nicaragua populated primarily by the indigenous Miskitos. Hurricane Felix's category five winds devastated the region's infrastructure and crops, crippling the already impoverished and marginalized Miskitos communities.

ADRA Nicaragua began distributing the donated medicines, including antibiotics and anti-parasitic medications, on Monday, January 28, 2008. In coordination with the Nicaraguan Ministry of Health (MINSA), the medicine will be distributed to health centers and hospitals in Nueva Segovia, Madriz, Esteli, Chinandega, Managua, Matagalpa, and Leon.

"This donation is a much-needed boost for a large part of the Nicaraguan population," shared Plinio Vergara, country director for ADRA Nicaragua. "The hurricane damaged and contaminated main water sources, such as community wells and rivers. Many residents had no choice but to use the polluted water for drinking, cooking, and bathing, which exposed them to parasites and water-borne diseases. The medicines provided by our partner organizations will help restore their health."

More than 100 people were killed in Nicaragua when Hurricane Felix made landfall September 4, 2007. ADRA responded immediately with first aid kits, blankets, food baskets, and temporary housing for 1,200 beneficiaries in the affected region. In the weeks that followed, ADRA Nicaragua, in partnership with local organizations and the U. S. Agency for International Development's Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA), implemented an economic rehabilitation project that provided nearly 7,000 survivors with the supplies needed to recover their livelihoods in agriculture, carpentry, fishing, and small businesses.

To donate to ADRA's response to help survivors in Nicaragua, please contact ADRA at 1.800.424.ADRA (2372) or donate online to ADRA's Emergency Response fund at www.adra.org.

ADRA is present in 125 countries, providing community development and emergency management without regard to political or religious association, age, gender, race, or ethnicity.

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Media Contact:

Kara Watkins
ADRA International
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Silver Spring, MD 20904
Phone: 301.680.6357
Mobile: 301.526.2625
E-mail: Media.Inquiries@adra.org