Venezuela - Floods Situation Report No. 5

OCHA /GVA 99/0263
Venezuela - Floods
OCHA Situation Report No. 5
27 December 1999

Government requests UN assistance and UN General Assembly adopts resolution


1. On 23 December 1999, the Government of Venezuela has officially requested support from the United Nations System to assist Venezuela in alleviating the impact caused by the disaster. One day before, on 22 December 1999, the UN General Assembly had adopted a resolution, which urges the international community to respond quickly and provide generous aid to Venezuela.

2. The National Government of Venezuela informed that the first phase of the emergency (search and rescue) had been concluded. However, it is reported that some areas in the state of Miranda are still isolated and require relief assistance.

3. According to reports from the Sub-Secretary of Agriculture, approximately 35,000 hectares of farmland remain flooded and, in some areas, up to 60% of the harvest are lost. An estimated 3,600 rural families have been affected. Based on WFP estimates, 15% of the population in shelters are comprised of children under 5 years of age and the majority of the remaining 85% are women.

National response

4. The National Emergency Committee, while maintaining its 13 subcommittees, has grouped its activities in three main areas: Social Development, Infrastructure, and Communication/Support.

5. The Ministry of Health is coordinating activities in the affected areas and reinforcing epidemiological surveillance, with brigades in shelters to ensure the early detection and diagnosis of health problems. The evaluation of damage to the water distribution system has been completed and the results of the evaluation of damage to the health infrastructure will be available shortly.

Coordination of international response

6. The UN Country Team continues to meet regularly with strong participation of UN agencies, interested donors (including the World Bank, ECHO and OFDA), the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and several national and international NGOs.

7. Thanks to funding provided by the United Kingdom, OCHA is making available, for a period of three months, the services of a disaster management expert to assist the UN Resident Coordinator in Caracas during the relief phase and in the transition from relief to rehabilitation, as well as in planning for/reporting on the use of contributions. The disaster management expert will be working at the Information Center being established by the UN System, which will be operational by 28 December 1999.

8. An additional disaster management expert will also be funded by the United Kingdom to support the National Emergency Committee in tasks related to the transition from relief to rehabilitation.


9. UNICEF is seeking USD 800,000 to implement an action plan (immediate and short-term) that identifies five areas of support to complement the efforts of other national and international actors:

- Immediate Child Protection - Includes, inter alia, psychosocial rehabilitation of affected children and adolescents;

- Emergency Water, Sanitation and Hygienic Measures - Will benefit 150,000 homeless persons living in different temporary shelters;

- Back-to-School Initiative - Targets 20,000 children

- Support to Indigenous Communities - To provide support to 2,000 families of the Wayuu and Anyu groups;

- Communication and Social Mobilization Strategy to support the above activities.

Contributions reported since OCHA Situation Report No.4

United Nations System
UNICEF Emergency Cash Grant
Psychological support for children
WHO/PAHO 7 experts in SUMA, mental health and psychological support, and epidemiological surveillance
Israel 8 tons of miscellaneous emergency supplies
Argentina 22 tons of medicines, and food
White Helmets team (4 members)
Australia Cash grant trough IFRC (AUD 100,000)
Austria Cash and in-kind (ATS 231,634) assistance
Canada Cash grant through PAHO CND 150,000
Jamaica Emergency Cash Grant
France 14 disaster experts, 5 water purifying plants and 37 tons of miscellaneous emergency supplies
Luxembourg Cash grant through UNICEF
New Zealand Cash grant through OCHA (NZ$50,000)
South Korea Additional emergency cash grant
Spain Emergency grant
Sweden Emergency cash grant through PAHO
United Kingdom Financing of two disaster management experts (GBP 50,000 through OCHA)
United States of America (Puerto Rico) Miscellaneous emergency supplies
Keidanren and Japanese Red Cross Cash grant through Venezuelan Red Cross
Pan American Development Foundation: Cash grant through OAS
Emergency supplies

(*) Value not available

10. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions to be used for immediate relief assistance, in coordination/consultation with relevant organizations in the United Nations system. Funds should be transferred to OCHA account No. CO-590.160.0, Swift code: UBSWCHZ12A at the UBS AG, P.O. Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, with reference: OCHA - Venezuela - Floods. OCHA provides donors with written confirmation and pertinent details concerning the utilization of the funds contributed.

11. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies is available on the OCHA Internet Website at:

Telephone number: + 41-22-917-1234
In case of emergency only: + 41 22 917 2010

Desk Officers: Mr. Erik Haegglund, direct tel: + 41-22-917-3299 and Mr. Carlos Monteiro-Pereira, direct tel: +41-22-9171383

Contact person for the media: Mr. Donato Kiniger-Passigli, direct tel: +41-22-917-2653

Telex 41 42 42 ocha ch
Fax: + 41 22 917 0023


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