Paraguay - Drought OCHA Situation Report No. 2

Ref: OCHA/GVA - 2000/0065
OCHA Situation Report No. 2
Paraguay - Drought
23 March 2000


1. The United Nations Resident Coordinator's office in Asuncion informs that the persistent drought, worsening since June last year, continues to affect the north of Paraguay, and in particular the Departments of Concepcion, San Pedro and Chaco Central. The area was also affected by frost in May and June last year, combined with fires and resulting burned pastures. The current climate conditions are unstable, with temperatures reaching over 35 degrees. Not much rain has been registered so far.

2. The Government of Paraguay declared a state of emergency in the Department of Concepcion on 24 September 1999. The districts of Horqueta, Loreto, Concepcion, Yby Yau and Belen are the worst hit by the drought, which has affected 15,000 persons and 11,307 ha of crops on small farms producing limited quantities of commercial goods and for self consumption. Food assistance and potable water are very much needed.

National Response

3. The National Emergency Committee (CEN) has provided some food, temporary shelter materials and seeds, and efforts have been made to improve the water situation. In addition, the Departmental Emergency Committee of Concepcion, led by the Governor and the Bishop of the parish, has been organizing food assistance.

International Response

4. A three-person in-country UNDAC Team is providing support to the Government in managing the ongoing drought. The Team traveled to Concepcion on 13 March, and is currently conducting field visits and producing reports. A final report is expected in April. OCHA has provided a cash grant of USD 20,000, to be utilized for the purchase and installation of water pumps and for the fielding of the UNDAC mission.

5. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), through the Paraguayan Red Cross, contributed 236,240 kg of food supplies including rice, sugar, flour, beans, oil and pasta. IFRC also released CHF 190,000 (USD 114,458) from its Disaster Relief Emergency Fund for this operation in November 1999.

6. The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) provided USD 324,000 through the Spanish Red Cross, to assist 8,533 families in the Department of Concepcion. The ECHO assistance programme runs until April 2000.

7. The Government of Japan supplied relief items including 1,200 water tanks, 18 water purifiers and 3 emergency health kits, to the value of USD 104,609, in November 1999. In March 2000, the United States allocated USD 25,000 to be used to meet the immediate relief needs of those affected by drought in Central Chaco.

8. The Catholic Relief Service donated PYG 134 million (USD 38,506) for food supplies to be distributed in the Departments of Concepcion, San Pedro and Chaco Central. The Lion's Club donated USD 10,000 for the purchase of foodstuffs.


9. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions for the immediate relief needs. Funds channeled through OCHA will be spent in co-ordination with the relevant organizations of the UN system and OCHA will provide written confirmation of their use. Funds should be transferred to OCHA Account No. CO-590.160.0 SWIFT-code UBSWCHZ12A - at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference: OCHA - Paraguay - Drought.

10. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA-Geneva of relief missions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding value by item.

11. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, is also available on the OCHA Internet Website at

Telephone: +41-22-917-1234
Fax: +41-22-917 00 23

In case of emergency only: +41-22-917 20 10

Desk Officers: Mr. Erik Haegglund, direct tel: + 41-22-917-3299
Mr. Carlos Monteiro-Pereira, direct tel: +41-22-917-1383
Ms. Masayo Kondo, direct tel: +41-22-917-1997

Press contact: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct Tel. +41-22-917 26 53


UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit