In response to the devastating floods, caused by Bolivia's rainy season, the European Commission has allocated over €375 000 in humanitarian assistance to the country. The aid operations will be carried out in the most affected departments of Beni and La Paz, benefitting over 5 000 people.
Of the total funding, some €250 000 are dedicated to building new shelters for the affected population. The construction is carried out by a consortium of ten humanitarian agencies, led by Oxfam. The additional €175 130 euros will be channeled to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). This will allow the Bolivian Red Cross to provide drinking water to families living in shelters; as well as seeds and plants to farmers who have lost their crops and could suffer from food insecurity in the immediate future.
Last January, the Bolivian government declared a state of emergency after continuous heavy rains throughout the season had caused major flooding and mudslides across the country. The overflowing rivers burst their banks, leading to the destruction of crops and houses, often cutting off access to the population in the affected areas. Overall, since the beginning of the floods more than 50 people have perished, and over 55 000 families
(220 000 people) were affected as many homes were destroyed or became temporarily inhabitable. Furthermore, 40 000 hectares were destroyed and 250 000 livestock died, thus endangering the population’s main source of income and food. The response of the EU aims to complement the assistance already being provided by the authorities.
The EU Delegation in Bolivia as well as several Member States are also contributing with emergency items for sheltered populations, tents, helicopter hours and other sorts of aid channeled through humanitarian consortia. This brings the total EU response (including Member States) to €742 000.