CERF allocated $2.6 million in response to massive flooding in Bolivia
21 April 2011: CERF allocates $2.6 million in In response to massive flooding that has caused landslides and widespread damage in the country, CERF has allocated some $2.6 million for humanitarian response in Bolivia.
The World Food Programme (WFP) will receive some $850,000 to provide food assistance to flood-affected families. Some $700,000 has been allocated to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) to support the nutritional status of children under two years of age, provide safe water, sanitation and hygiene for families affected by landslides and floods, ensure access to school for children, and guarantee children’s right to protection. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) will use some $380,000 for agriculture and sanitation support for vulnerable communities. The International Organization for Migration (IOM) will receive some $350,000 to provide non-food items and emergency shelters for displaced families. Some $150,000 has been allocated to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) for security and protection for women and children in flood-affected areas. Finally, the World Health Organization (WHO) will use some $100,000 for integral health sector response to the floods.
Heavy rains induced by the La Niña phenomenon have flooded seven of the nine departments of Bolivia causing loss of life, injuries and displacement as well as massive damage to crops, housing, roads and other essential infrastructure. According to the UN Emergency Technical Team (UNETT), as of 13 March 2011, approximately 120,000 people were affected and the death toll stood at 54 people. Approximately 1,500 houses were completely destroyed, leaving at least 5,000 people in shelters, and some 14,000 hectares of subsistence crops were lost.
Rains also caused a “mega” landslide in the capital city, La Paz, on 26 February 2011. In what the Mayor of La Paz called “the biggest disaster in recent decades,” over 1,500 houses were destroyed and 6,200 people were evacuated. Families are now living in improvised tents trying to pull their belongings from the rubble. Authorities estimate that many families will have to remain in camps for two months, until the waters reduce. In Beni and Cochabamba, families are already facing moderate food insecurity because of not only the floods but also skyrocketing food prices in Bolivia.
The most vulnerable groups affected by the floods are subsistence farmers, indigenous populations, poor peri-urban families, women-headed households and children. With many schools closed or being used as shelters, children living in camps are facing increased risk of violence, neglect and exploitation.