SUMA was activated on December 15th in
the Venezuelan state of Aragua. This SUMA operation, coordinated by the
Venezuelan Red Cross, has been installed in 9 locations representing different
civil sectors (government, education, civil defense etc). The installation
of SUMA in these locations is allowing national authorities to control
and account for incoming relief supplies and then subsequently deploy them
to the neediest areas.
Due to the fact that many of those affected by the floods have been displaced from the hardest hit regions, they have begun to use two warehouses as a pre-staging facility while locations and needs are determined. One warehouse is stocked with medical supplies, food, clothing and other essential goods and the other is located at the headquarters of the state Health Corporation. Present efforts are concentrated on estimating supply vs demand in order to provide information to the government and international donors on what is most needed.
As the worsens, the established "air shuttle" (i.e. helicopter, plances) that had been used to transport affected persons to airports and to provide some degree of control and information about population movements has deteriorated because, in desparation, friends and family of victims are moving people via land and water to temporary settlements that have been difficult to track. National authorities are attempting a census count.
The Red Cross in Aragua has taken the lead in coordinating SUMA operations and integrating it with the efforts of other agencies.
All points of collection of supplies and the central SUMA headquarters for the Venezuela operation are linked by radiocommunications provided by the Red Cross of Aragua.
SUMA updates on this situation will also
be posted on the SUMA website at: