Paraguay: Drought DREF Operation Update No. 1 MDRPY005

Situation Report
Originally published


Glide No. DR-2008-000157-PRY

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross and Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Period covered by this update: 16 September 2008 to 26 October 2008.

Summary: CHF 93,000 (USD 84,545 or EUR 57,585) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to support to support the National Society in delivering immediate food assistance to 900 indigenous families in the Department of Boquerón.

This DREF update no.1 reports on the activities accomplished by the Paraguayan Red Cross including the distribution of complimentary food parcels to more than 900 families and provision of safe drinking water.

This operation is expected to be implemented over three months, and will therefore be completed by 16 December 2008; a Final Report will be made available three months after the end of the operation (by 16 March 2009).

The situation

The Central Region of Chaco covers 60 percent of the country and includes the departments of Alto Paraguay, Boqueron and Presidente Hayes. The Region of Chaco has a significant amount of climatic ranges and unique geological characteristics that create a great variety of ecological phenomena including plains, dry savannas that seasonally flood, swamplands and extensive forests and brush land.

One of the major problems this area faces is the extreme cyclical droughts and flooding. According to the Nature Conservancy, the river water levels in the mountain range area during the rainy season reach very high peaks and diminish dramatically during the dry season. The sustainability of agriculture is severely

impacted by these drastic changes as the soil becomes highly impermeable causing floods during the rainy season and during dry season the soil is sandy with poor nutrients.