CHF 157,481 was allocated from the IFRC Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support the Red Cross Society of Panama Red Cross Society of Panama in the delivery of immediate assistance for up to 30,000 people
On 30 June, the Ministry of Health (MoH) and IDAAN reported a leak involving a chemical herbicide called atrazine into a tributary of the La Villa River, the main source of drinking water for the provinces of Herrera and Los Santos in the Republic of Panama. Water analyses determined a higher than normal presence of the substance, which meant that the water produced by the Chitré and La Villa water treatment plants was not suitable for human consumption. An emergency was later declared on 2 July due to further increased atrazine levels in drinking water.
The three-month DREF operation implemented by the Red Cross Society of Panama Red Cross Society of Panama assisted 6,349 families through the provision of two jerry cans per family and 373,508 litres of water distributed through bottled water, water trucks and jerrycans. Training and information were also provided to 6,306 families on proper water use, hygiene and storage, and natural water resource care.
The major donors and partners of the DREF are the American, Australian, and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross Society and government, Danish Red Cross and government, the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Irish and the Italian Governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg Government, the Monaco Red Cross and Ggovernment, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Spanish Government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors.