MapAction has sent a team of two volunteers to support the United Nations (UN) and Government of Paraguay in coordinating relief efforts following extensive flooding. The team will be helping the UN’s Disaster Assessment and Coordination team analyse the needs of affected communities and coordinate a strategic response.
Paraguay has been experiencing severe flooding since December 2015. According to a report from the United Nations at the time, at least 130,000 people had been evacuated from their homes. Although conditions had improved in recent months, recent heavy rainfall has exacerbated the situation for thousands of people already in need. Further rainfall is forecast to arrive in the remainder of April and May.
The floods have been linked to the “El Niño” phenomenon, whereby sea-surface temperature changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean lead to climate fluctuations. This is a cyclical phenomenon, but according to the UN’s World Meteorological Organisation the 2015-2016 El Niño is one of the strongest on record.