Paraguay

Paraguay: Drought Appeal No. 31/02 Operations Update No. 3

Source
Published


The Federation’s mission is to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity. It is the world’s largest humanitarian organization and its millions of volunteers are active in 178 countries. For more information: www.ifrc.org
Launched on 24 October 2002 for CHF 418,000 for five months Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) Allocated: CHF 70,000 Beneficiaries: 27,640 (5,528 families)

Period covered: 28 December 2002 - 28 February 2003 Last Update: 14 January 2003

Next Update: Final Report

IN BRIEF

Appeal coverage: Covered

Related Appeals: 1.18/2002 Pan American Disaster Response Unit; 01.22/2002 South America; 31/01 Central America: Drought and Food Insecurity

Outstanding needs: None

Summary: The drought operation in Paraguay is progressing according to schedule and is providing much needed assistance to affected communities in Boquerón. The appeal target has been fully covered, given allocations of bilateral funding which have served to meet the Federation’s appeal objectives. Furthermore, as a result of this funding from OFDA and an ECHO grant managed by the Spanish Red Cross, the Paraguayan Red Cross operation has been expanded to assist a total of 27,640 beneficiaries. Food and water distributions have taken place, and 51 water collection and storage systems are under construction in communities severely hit by the drought. 14 hygiene promoters have been trained in the Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) methodology and are working in 51 communities to improve hygiene practices and boost awareness regarding the prevention of diarrhoeal diseases.

Operational Developments

An extended drought has affected the departments of Alto Paraguay, Boquerón and Presidente Hayes in western Paraguay over the last two years. For a period of eight months, there was no rain and the situation deteriorated. As a result, on 2 October, a national state of emergency was declared. In Boquerón, the drought has had a particularly negative impact on agriculture, affecting 4,968 rural indigenous farming families in 56 communities who live principally on subsistence crops. Traditional water supply systems called "tajamares", excavations where rain water is collected and distributed to the community, dried up totally and communities exhausted their food and water reserves. Underground water sources do not offer a viable alternative given the cost of drilling wells and the difficulty in locating water of sufficient quality for human consumption. Some rainfall occurred in the Chaco central region as of early November, although scarce and insufficient for the planting of crops. In 2001, seeds were distributed to indigenous farming communities in the area, which did not germinate given lack of rain and irrigation as a result of the shortage of water.

Fortunately, as of January, there has been increased rainfall. As a result, many of the affected communities have again been able to collect water from the "tajamares". Given the launch of the drought operation and the distribution of food, the situation caused by the drought has become less severe in those areas in which assistance is provided.

The operation under implementation consists of three components: a) provision of immediate humanitarian food and water aid; b) increasing the collection and water storage capacity in the target communities specifically during dry periods; and c) 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 is designed to reduce the vulnerability of the target communities affected by water shortages and water borne disease.

Coordination

The drought operation is being coordinated through a unified approach whereby the Federation response, funded through the international appeal, implementation of assistance through OFDA funding and the Spanish Red Cross response funded through a grant from ECHO, are carried out within an agreed framework for humanitarian assistance, with the effective partnership of the Paraguayan Red Cross. Relations between the headquarters and the Red Cross branch in Boquerón have been strengthened, as well as relations between the National Society and other national organizations including the departmental emergency committee in Boquerón with which a formal agreement has been signed. During the reporting period, distributions of food took place, preceded by the distribution of water using water tankers and bladders. In addition, a Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation (PHAST) workshop was held, with the attendance of 27 volunteers, 14 of whom have become hygiene promoters.

The regional delegation in Lima and the Pan American Disaster Response Unit (PADRU) are providing support to the Paraguayan Red Cross for the implementation of the operation.

Red Cross and Red Crescent action

Initially, the Paraguayan Red Cross had selected 25 indigenous farming communities as beneficiaries of the operation, providing support to 1,193 families. However, given the Spanish Red Cross operation, a total of 55 indigenous communities and 5,528 families, or approximately 27,640 people, are now receiving aid. Beneficiaries of the operation are indigenous farming families of the Angaité, Ayoreo, Guarani, Guaraní Nandeva, Lengua, Nivaclé, Nivaclé Manhui, Sanapana and Toba Maskoy ethnic groups, together with other farmers from 3 Villa who form part of the most vulnerable social group in the department of Boquerón. These communities lack sustainable sources of income and are affected by insecurity; 70 per cent of the population lives on subsistence farming and has been greatly affected by the continual droughts and freezing spells which have occurred over recent years.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Society

The Federation is supporting the Paraguayan Red Cross in the strengthening of capacities through the implementation of a national intervention team (NIT) training course, through which 21 volunteers who are working in the operation have received training. In addition, the Pan American Disaster Response Unit is providing support through the water and sanitation delegate with respect to monitoring of the construction of water systems, and to promotion of community water and sanitation initiatives, as well as implementation of a workshop focusing on participative techniques in water and sanitation. The Paraguayan Red Cross has recruited 37 staff members to work on the implementation of the drought operation: 12 are funded through the Federation - hygiene promoters and an accountant - and 25 through the Spanish Red Cross who are working in the distributions, in the area of hygiene promotion and in administration at headquarters level.

Objectives, activities and results

Objective 1: To contribute to the nutritional requirements of 1,193 families affected by the drought through the provision of supplementary food packages for five months.

Beneficiary surveys were carried out in the 55 communities targeted for food assistance, and food packages have been distributed to the beneficiaries with the support of 24 volunteers from the Paraguayan Red Cross. In November, 1,193 families received assistance, in December, a total of 1,747 families were provided with food packages and the Spanish Red Cross will provide assistance to 5,528 families as of the end of March, increasing the original estimates of numbers of families to be assisted.

Organization
Families
Communities
Duration
Month
Status
Federation (DREF funds) 1.193 25 1 month November 2002 Implemented
OFDA 1.747 37 1 month December 2002 Implemented
Spanish Red Cross - ECHO 5.528 55 3 months January - March 2003 Under Implementation

The Paraguayan Red Cross, with the support of the Federation, of OFDA and of the Spanish Red Cross, has been able to assist an increasing number of beneficiaries. At the end of February, the Spanish Red Cross had provided food rations to a total of 5,296 families (26,140 people) in 55 communities.

Water and Sanitation

Objective 1: Ensure a three month supply of potable water to 1,193 families affected by the drought.

In the month of January, 24 communities with a population of 887 beneficiary families were assisted through the provision of 1,127,000 litres of water, and at the end of February, the total number of beneficiaries for January and February stood at 2,059 families (10,295 people). The total beneficiary coverage over the five month period of the operation will be of 4,970 families. These communities, assesssed as those most vulnerable as a result of water shortages, were selected jointly by the departmental emergency committee and the branch of Boquerón. The assessment took into account the fact that some localized rain showers took place in December and, as a result, in several communities, reservoirs and "`tajamares" were filled with water, whilst others received assistance from Mennonite communities. Three water tankers and two trucks with a gasoline supply are available for the distributions. The water tankers travel between Filadelfia to Mariscal Estigarribia, at a distance of 85 km., and from there travel to the affected communities. The tankers have a capacity of 10,000 litres of water which is supplied to the reservoirs. The Paraguayan Red Cross has secured the cooperation of the Sanitation and Water Service Firm in the provision of water supplies. In some cases, water delivery has been delayed as a result of difficulties in accessing certain communities.

Objective 2: Increase the water storage capacity in the target communities with a safe and permanent rainwater collection system.

Under this objective, an agreement has been reached with the Spanish Red Cross whereby the Federation assumes responsibility for 26 water collection systems and 25 systems are financed by the Spanish Red Cross. With the support of the PADRU water and sanitation delegate, terms of reference were drawn up citing the requirements of the water systems and two suppliers were selected in January. As of 6 February, 15 systems financed by the Federation have been completed, three are under implementation and a further eight are currently pending. With Spanish Red Cross-ECHO funding, 13 systems were completed, 10 are in process and two remain pending. The table below summarizes progress:

Systems
Funding
Status Completed
Under
Construction
Pending
26 Federation
15
Completed
8
25 Spanish Red Cross - ECHO
13
10
2
TOTAL
28
13
10

It is expected that the water systems will be completed by early March 2003.

The water systems will benefit a total of 6,030 families (30,150 people).

Objective 3: Promote good hygiene practices of community members in order to improve the quality of water and reduce instance of water based disease in the targeted communities.

Between 13 and 16 January, a Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation workshop took place at the headquarters of the Paraguayan Red Cross, facilitated by an water and sanitation expert from the Venezuelan Red Cross. 27 volunteers took part in the training, of whom 14 have been working since 20 January as community hygiene promoters in the field. In addition, between 15 and 17 Feruary, a second PHAST workshop was held for volunteers in the branch of Filadelfia within the department of Boquerón, which is actively participating in the drought operation; this workshop was facilitated by the water and sanitation delegate from PADRU. In addition, 51 communities have, to date, received awareness training in hygiene and sanitation. By the end of the operation, a total of 78 communities and villages will have been reached with hygiene promotion training and awareness sessions, benefiting 5,211 families and 26,055 people.

The training sessions focus on: improved hygiene practices; the prevention of diarrhoeal diseases; promotion of community management of water and sanitation services. Through a participatory methodology, a cross-section of community members are involved in hygiene and sanitation activities; the training helps the participants to gain confidence and to increase their capacity to work towards improvements within their communities. The hygiene promoters begin the training sessions with drawings which illustrate the history of the community, also including accounts of health and hygiene. A community map is drawn in which the community identifies the location of latrines, places of worship, health care centres, recreational areas and so forth. The methodology is proving effective and enables the promoters to gain an understanding of the communities in which they are working.

Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement -- Principles and Initiatives

  • The Paraguayan Red Cross has come to the assistance of vulnerable communities affected by the slow onset of severe drought in chronically affected regions which received no rain over an eight month period in 2002.

  • Hygiene promotion education is ensuring respect for the cultural norms of the indigenous populations.

  • Criteria specified under the SPHERE project have been taken into account in analyzing basic needs regarding provision of food and water to the most vulnerable.

National Society Capacity Building

The programme is striving to increase the capacity of the national headquarters and the Boquerón branch of the National Society to effectively respond to natural disasters, specifically drought and floods. The Federation has donated four water bladders for use in water distributions. The water bladders can be mounted on any flatbed truck and can be used to haul emergency potable water relief over long distances. A national intervention team (NIT) workshop was held between 21 and 23 February in which 21 volunteers took part; the training focused on Federation tools in relation to disaster response and the SPHERE project.

The Federation has trained Paraguayan Red Cross volunteers and staff in health promotion techniques. The newly trained volunteers are taking part in the hygiene promotion component of the operation and form a resource for the National Society for the future.

Federation Delegation w

Technical assistance is being provided by the Pan American Disaster Response Unit’s water and sanitation delegate. The regional delegation in Lima is also providing support to the Paraguayan Red Cross, particularly through the regional disaster preparedness officer.

Advocacy/Public Information w

The work of the Paraguayan Red Cross has been widely disseminated through the national media.

Outstanding needs

In addition to contributions directly to the international appeal, given OFDA funding for the second food distribution, together with ECHO funding provided to the Spanish Red Cross whereby activities outlined in the appeal are both complemented and expanded, there are no current outstanding needs.

For further details please contact: Olaug Bergseth, Federation Desk Officer, Phone 41 22 730 45 35 or Luis Luna, Federation Desk Officer Phone : 41 22 730 42 74, Fax: 41 22 733 03 95; email: bergseth@ifrc.org or luna@ifrc.org

All International Federation Operations seek to adhere to the Code of Conduct and are committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (SPHERE Project) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

This operation seeks to administer to the immediate requirements of the victims of this disaster. Subsequent operations to promote sustainable development or longer-term capacity building will require additional support, and these programmes are outlined on the Federation’s website.

For further information concerning Federation operations in this or other countries, please access the Federation website at http://www.ifrc.org.

John Horekens
Director
External Relations

Santiago Gil
Head
Americas Department

Annex 1

Paraguay - drought
APPEAL No. 31/2002


PLEDGES RECEIVED
20.03.2003

DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT

CASH

REQUESTED IN APPEAL CHF
418'000
TOTAL COVERAGE 105.6%

AMERICAN - GOVT/USAID

50' 000
USD
69'000
31.01.2003
BILATERAL
AUSTRIAN - RC

35' 000
EUR
51'310
19.11.2002

JAPANESE - RC

9' 200
USD
13'671
01.11.2002

MONACO - RC

5' 000
EUR
7'332
24.10.2002

NORWEGIAN - RC

100' 000
NOK
20'120
28.10.2002

SPANISH - RC/ECHO

119' 893
EUR
176'679
31.01.2003
BILATERAL
SWEDISH - GOVT

400' 000
SEK
64'560
05.11.2002

SWITZERLAND - RC



38'850
06.12.2002


SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN CASH
441'522
CHF
105.6%

KIND AND SERVICES (INCLUDING PERSONNEL)

DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT

SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED IN KIND/SERVICES
0
CHF
0.0%

ADDITIONAL TO APPEAL BUDGET

DONOR
CATEGORY
QUANTITY
UNIT
VALUE CHF
DATE
COMMENT
SPANISH - RC/ECHO
314' 095
EUR
461'118
31.01.2003
BILATERAL

SUB/TOTAL RECEIVED
461'118
CHF