From WEEKLY NEWS 12/00
23 March 2000
Venezuelan government statistics put the number of homeless flood victims who have taken refuge in civil and military shelters or are staying with host families at more than 78,700. The only assistance the 2,800 families who are staying with parents or friends in Valencia or Maracay are receiving comes either from the International Federation or the American Red Cross. Since January of this year 8,400 family food parcels, personal hygiene kits and kitchen sets have been distributed to these displaced people. They depend on this support to survive and to attenuate the effects of their prolonged stay with a host family who, in many cases, can barely eke out a living in normal circumstances.
Most of the estimated 600,000 persons affected by the floods have not yet been offered a practical housing solution. As a consequence, many homeless people have occupied unfinished apartment buildings, such as Vista Caribe, a complex of eight buildings at Catia la Mar, in the state of Vargas. The Federation is working with community leaders there, to try and improve sanitary conditions for about 400 families. At the same time, the German Red Cross, with ECHO financing, has been providing food, jerry cans, kitchen and hygiene sets and 30.000 litres of potable water daily for these families.
WEEKLY NEWS IS PUBLISHED BY THE INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF RED CROSS AND RED CRESCENT SOCIETIES
17 Chemin des Crêts, Geneva
Tel: (41 22) 730 4222
Fax: (41 22) 733 0395