Uruquay: Floods Final Report for DREF MDRUY001

Situation Report
Originally published


GLIDE no: FL-2007-000057-URY

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 185 countries.

In Brief

Period covered by this Final Report: 16 May to 10 September, 2007.

History of this Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF)-funded operation:

- CHF 15,000 (USD 12,397 or EUR 9,146) was allocated on 10 May 2007 from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) to respond to the needs of this operation.

- An additional CHF 125,000 (USD 103,306 or EUR 76,220) was allocated on 14 May 2007 to expand the operation.

This operation was implemented in four months and was completed by 10 September 2007. In line with Federation reporting standards, the DREF Bulletin Final Report (narrative and financial) is due 90 days after the end of the operation (by 10 December 2007).

The International Federation undertakes activities that are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Background and Summary

Uruguay, as many other countries in the region, has experienced major climatic shifts during the past years. In March 2007, intense and unusually prolonged rains caused severe flooding and the overflow of the Rio Negro and Rio Yi rivers. Water levels reached approximately 12 meters in just two days in May. Many Departments around the country were seriously affected; Durazno, Soriano and Treinta y Tres being the hardest hit Departments.

On 9 May, the Parliament declared a national State of Disaster, calling for measures to respond to the floods such as the potential use of one percent of the national budget (up to USD $45 million), the use of the International Development Bank funds for cooperation with departmental governments (USD $15 million) and international assistance.

These floods were the worst recorded in the last 50 years and it is estimated that over 110,000 people have been affected, mostly low income households located near the rivers that overflowed. Early assessments showed that over 12,500 people from impoverished and populated districts needed to be evacuated during the peak of the floods to temporary shelters, such as those set up in municipal stadiums, sports clubs, schools, and private residences as their homes had been seriously affected or destroyed. Almost all the affected families have since returned to their homes.

The floods also caused severe damage to public infrastructure including rural roads, bridges, water supplies, sewerage, drainage, power and telephone lines, housing and municipal buildings in addition to producing sectors such as agriculture and livestock. More than 30,000 people had no access to safe drinking water and electricity during the first 48 hours of the emergency and forty schools were affected, causing the disruption of educational activities for a few weeks.

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Uruguay: Nívea García de Meerhoff, President of Uruguayan Red Cross; email cruzroja@adinet.com.uy; phone (598) (2) 480-2112; fax (598) (2) 480-0714

In Peru: Giorgio Ferrario, Head of Lima Regional Representation; email giorgio.ferrario@ifrc.org, phone (511) 221-8151, fax (511) 441- 3607

In Panama: Dario Alvarez, Acting Head of the Pan American Disaster Response Unit, Panama; email dario.alvarez@ifrc.org, phone (507) 316-1001, fax (507) 316-1082

In Panama: Maria Alcazar, Resource Mobilization Coordinator, Americas; email: maria.alcazar@ifrc.org, phone (507) 380 0250; fax; (507) 317 13 04

In Geneva: Pablo Medina, Operations Coordinator for the Americas; email pablo.medina@ifrc.org; phone: phone (41) 79 2173376; fax: (41) 22 730 0395.