OAS coordinating Inter-American assistance to Venezuela

At a special meeting of the Organization of American States (OAS) Permanent Council today, Permanent Representatives of OAS member states expressed their solidarity with Venezuelans and passed a resolution urging the OAS Secretary General to "continue contributing to the rescue and reconstruction efforts underway in the affected areas".

As well, a number of governments - Guyana, Canada, and the United States - announced new funding for Venezuelan disaster relief efforts at this special meeting.

Venezuelan Ambassador Virginia Contreras presented a detailed update of the extent of the tragedy and thanked OAS member states for the aid that has thus far been received.

"Only countries that suffer (natural disasters)," said Ambassador Contreras, "can appreciate the importance of this Committee [for the Reduction of Natural Disasters, which is coordinated by the OAS, and includes PAHO and other InterAmerican organizations] in directing, channeling and coordinating a number of efforts that we in Venezuela we not able to handle, given the suddenness of events"