Response to the Floods in Venezuela
(as part to the Inter-American Response)
PAHO continues coordinating assistance through international appeals to donors, technical support to the Venezuelan Government, coordination of supply management and mobilization of experts in different technical areas.
A press conference took place today Thursday, December 23rd at 10:00 AM in PAHO's Headquarters with the participation of Dr. David Brandling-Bennet, PAHO's Deputy Director who convened the conference as the Inter-American system lead agency in charge of disaster response. Ambassador Virginia Contreras, of Venezuela to the OAS thanked the international community for the support to Venezuela and requested further assistance. Mr. Enrique Lagos, OAS, Secretary General, a.i. informed that the OAS Secretariat is making all possible efforts to further assist Venezuela. A press release on this topic can be found at http://www.paho.org/english/DPI/releases.htm.
PAHO's Headquarters Task Force met to review recent information received by the different Programs and coordinate the immediate activities that should be attended during the next three days, considering the Christmas shut down of must offices. An up-dated Emergency Roster was drawn up for this period with all those that participated in this meeting (Annex 1).
The Government of Spain will be contributing to the Appeal within the next few days, and the exact amount will be confirmed in a later Situation Report. The Government of Canada confirmed a grant for Can $150,000, USAID/OFDA a grant for US$200,000 and the Government of Sweden the amount of US$260,000.
The Ministry of Health and Social Development of Venezuela issued today the estimated requirements of essential drugs, necessary to take care of a population of approximately 500,000 persons during the next three months. This official list will be published on PAHO's website at http://www.paho.org/english/ped/pedven.htm.
A shipment of Chlorine Test Kits and DPD Total Chlorine Reagent Powder Pillows was sent from PAHO HQ. to the PWR Office in Caracas in response to an urgent request for these water purification elements.
URUGUAY offered to send one mobile water purification plant, similar to the those donated to El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua last year after Hurricane Mitch, which will be installed by Uruguayan technicians once the definite site has been identified by the Government of Venezuela, with PAHO's technical advice.
NICARAGUA has identified another Mental Health expert that could be mobilized within the first week of January, if necessary.
SUMA has been installed in the Ministry of Health and in the Venezuelan Red Cross, and also in the Embassies of Venezuela in Bolivia and El Salvador, who via modem will be able to send the information on donations directly to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Caracas.
COLOMBIA will be sending an expert on pharmaceutical stock house management from the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center in Medellin, within the next 10 days to collaborate with the Ministry of Health of Venezuela.