UN agencies launch emergency operations in Venezuela

News and Press Release
Originally published
The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) are organizing urgent relief assistance to the victims of the floods and mudslides that devastated Venezuela last week. The floods are estimated to have killed 10,000 people, with 6,000 still missing and more than 150,000 homeless, WFP said today.
"The floods have badly hit the people living in shanty towns on the outskirts of the cities of Venezuela," said Francisco Roque Castro, WFP Regional Manager for Latin America. "They need food immediately, which is the reason we are taking this first step so quickly right now."

WFP will begin delivering food aid this week to 20,000 of the most vulnerable victims. Because most people do not have access to cooking facilities, WFP will distribute ready-to-eat food in the form of high-protein biscuits, one packet of which supplies an adult's daily caloric requirement.

Carel De Rooy, UNICEF Area Representative for Colombia and Venezuela, arrived in the area today to map immediate and mid-term priorities for UNICEF's assistance to victims, including an estimated 1,000 children who have been separated from their parents. Some 50,000 children are estimated to be out of school, UNICEF said in a statement issued today.