Floods in Venezuela - 17 Dec 1999

A report from the Pan American Health Organization
Emergency Preparedness and Disaster Relief Coordination Program
6 pm

Venezuela's Civil Defense reports that ten states in the northern part of the country were affected by torrential rainfall on December 13-14. More than 120 deaths have been officially reported and 16,000 houses damaged. Several sources indicate that the death toll might be a much higher. The Government of Venezuela informed us that they will allocate BOL 12,000 billion (US $18.7 million) to respond to the impact of the floods.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened meetings in Caracas to brief the international community on the assessment of needs. The Ministry informed that several countries already have pledged humanitarian assistance. PAHO, as a member of the Inter-American System, has participated in these meetings through the PAHO/WHO office in Caracas. It also has maintained close contact with the Ambassador to the OAS in Washington.

PAHO's Director has approved US$25,000 to facilitate an initial response and the mobilization of an emergency team composed of epidemiologists, health services experts and sanitary engineers.

SUMA, the Humanitarian SUpply MAnagement system developed by PAHO, has already been activated and is being operated by the Civil Defense.

PAHO is also actively participating in the UN coordination mechanism.

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