ASUNCION, 2 Jul – A MapAction team is attached to a United Nations’ assistance group en route to western Paraguay, in response to widespread and repeated flooding.
The worst floods for more than a decade began in April. They have left thousands of families in scattered rural communities in urgent need of emergency food and other help after the floods devastated crops and livestock.
A complication of the emergency is that the affected communities are spread across two rural departments with a combined area somewhat larger than England and Wales. Many villages have remained cut off by road for weeks, requiring aid to be flown in by helicopter.
On 29 June MapAction received a request from the UN to support a group travelling to Paraguay to assist the government and international agencies in coordinating assistance.
Although MapAction has undertaken many missions in central America and the Caribbean, this is the charity’s first deployment to South America since severe flooding hit Bolivia in 2008. Chief executive Nigel Woof said: “This is typical of many very nasty natural disasters that don’t hit the global news channels, yet still leave poor and vulnerable people in real need. Creating a comprehensive picture of these needs is essential to make sure every community gets the right help. Once again our volunteers have answered the call to action.”