UN team assesses losses caused by floods in Costa Rica

20 January 2005

A United Nations team is making a two-day field visit to the area of Costa Rica most affected by the floods earlier this month that killed four people and displaced 6,000 others, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said today.

Representatives of the World Health Organization (WHO), through its bureau for the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF) were visiting the worst-hit town of Talamanca, where 1,907 of its 29,300 population were still living in 19 shelters, OCHA said.

Heavy rains started on 7 January and the Costa Rican Government declared a national emergency on 11 January. The National Emergency Commission said 2,143 internally displaced persons (IDPs) were still in temporary shelters, OCHA said.

In addition, hospitals and clinics, sewage systems and aqueducts were damaged and wells were contaminated, it said.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) would make an assessment of the damage to agriculture and the country's needs in that sector next month, OCHA said.


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