Venezuelan and U.S. military sources say the death toll could reach 30,000. An estimated 500,000 have been impacted by what is being called the worst natural disaster to hit Venezuela this century.
The assessment team includes Jim and Beverly Hinton, seasoned veterans of Mercy Corps' relief work in Honduras following Hurricane Mitch and other trouble spots. The team will carry medical supplies with them. Additional supplies are being airlifted from the U.S. and Europe. These items will address the most immediate health problems among survivors, such as gastrointestinal disorders, respiratory infections, skin diseases and trauma.
Medical supplies and equipment, enough to assist 30,000 people for one month, will be airlifted from Amsterdam this week. This shipment includes immediate health care items such as antibiotics, bandages, pain relievers, analgesics and anesthetics, IV solutions, and midwifery supplies for emergency childbirth situations. Additional first-aid supplies are being airlifted from California.
The assessment team will work with local organizations to identify the greatest needs and secure local suppliers for additional emergency relief items.
Donations are urgently needed to help the Venezuelan people recover from this disaster.