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Bolivia Floods Update: children still at risk


Two months on, the disastrous floods that hit Bolivia's Amazon plain continue to hamper daily life in one of Latin America’s poorest countries. Roughly 400,000 people have been affected by the worst floods in Bolivia in 25 years, with many having lost their possessions. In Trinidad, the capital of the Beni district, an estimated 40% of the flood-hit victims are children under the age of 12*. Most of these children are still living in unhygienic makeshift shelters alongside the motorways, or in provisional shelters set up in public schools.

Providing emergency supplies to families in Bolivia

Children and their families still require aid and the longer they continue living in such devastating conditions, the greater the risk of family disintegration. SOS Children continues to provide support in the Santa Cruz and Beni districts under the motto "families help families" and has also set up a day-care centre for children from the most badly affected families in Trinidad.

Around 120 children under the age of ten are currently being looked after in this day-care programme, which includes health services, four nutritious meals a day as well as educational and recreational activities. The centre is open ten hours a day and is run by fourteen members of SOS Children staff and two facilitators from the local prefecture.

"The day-care centre is providing assistance to children from 480 of the worst-affected families. These are families with working parents who have no one to care for their children during the day, as well as large families with many small children," said Guido Pecho, director of the SOS Children's Village in Santa Cruz. He added that a second day-care centre will be opened shortly in Trinidad.

In close cooperation with local authorities, SOS Children has also been providing emergency parcels to families most in need of support in the Beni district. These parcels include oil, milk, rice, cereals, noodles, beans and canned goods, as well as hygiene items, medicine and school books.

Fortunately SOS Children’s already established projects in the flood-hit districts of Santa Cruz were largely unscathed by the natural disaster and all continue to operate normally.

*Figures from UNICEF

Relevant Countries: Bolivia.

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