UN emergency team rushes to Bolivia to help fight flood

UN emergency team rushes to Bolivia to help fight flood

Following flash flooding that caused at least 69 deaths, the United Nations has dispatched a disaster assessment team to the Bolivian capital, La Paz, to coordinate emergency relief efforts, a UN spokesman announced today.

Following flash flooding that caused at least 69 deaths, the United Nations has dispatched a disaster assessment team to the Bolivian capital, La Paz, to coordinate emergency relief efforts, a UN spokesman announced today.

The five-person team, led by UN Regional Disaster Response Adviser Ricardo Mena, is responding to a request from Bolivian President Jorge Quiroga for help, following heavy rain and a massive hail storm that caused the Choqueyapu River to burst its banks on 19 February. Initial estimates put the cost of the damage caused by this flooding at well over $1 million.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has provided an emergency grant of $20,000 to address problems caused by the flooding, and has released a further $30,000 from trust funds under its control. The UN World Health Organization (WHO) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) have made additional contributions of $10,000 each.