Emergency Relief (Provision of Supplies) Following Heavy Rains in the Republic of the Venezuela (report #1)

The following is a report on emergency relief (provision of supplies) to the Republic of the Venezuela as authorized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at 11:15 pm, December 17 (Fri), after consultations with the Ministry of Finance.

1. Emergency Situation

Heavy rains concentrated along the Caribbean states began falling on the morning of December 11. These rains became torrential on December 15. According to a statement released by the Venezuelan Interior and Justice Ministry on Dec. 16, 41 people were reported dead or missing with a total of 93,000 affected. The statement also reported the occurrence of flooding, flash floods, destruction of homes, landslides, etc. Local television is reporting that a village of 2000 residents was destroyed by a landslide in the western part of Caracas. Damage is expected to become more wide-spread as heavy rains continue to fall in the region.

2. Response of the Venezuelan Government

On December 15 a state of emergency was declared in 5 states and the Distrito Federal during an emergency cabinet meeting, and on December 16 Foreign Minister Jose Vicente Rangel made an appeal to high-ranking officials of foreign governments for aid.

3. Response of the International Community

(1) United States 1000 prefabricated homes
(2) United Kingdom prefabricated houses (unknown number)
(3) Spain relief supplies are en route aboard 2 transport aircraft
(4) Peru blankets
(5) others food and medical supplies have been provided by Mexico, Chile, and Cuba

4. Response of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and JICA

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs received the request from the Venezuelan government and, after consultations with the Ministry of Finance, authorized provision of the following items through JICA:
Breakdown of supplies (from the JICA warehouse in the United States)
blankets : 2,700
tents (10- to 12-man) : 50
soap : 2,400
towels : 708

Estimated cost of relief supplies: approx. \15 million
Transport schedule: arrangements are being made for transport to Caracas on the earliest possible flight.

5. Additional Remarks

In addition to being the 7th largest oil producer in the world, Venezuela is rich in such mineral resources as iron and aluminum. Because of this, Japan has been working to strengthen its relationship with Venezuela with a view to diversification of its supply of resources and energy.