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Bolivia Floods Update: shelter for the homeless


The devastating floods continue to cause devastation and mayhem in much of Bolivia, with almost 70,000 families falling victim to the effects of "El Niño". The climate phenomenon of heavy rainfalls and floods has meant thousands of children and their families have had to flee their homes and are at severe risk of disease.

Months of heavy rain have affected the whole of the Latin American country, although the rural districts of Santa Cruz and Beni have been most severely hit, with 17,000 families and almost 13,000 children affected.

Alfonso Lupo, National Director of SOS Children's Villages in Bolivia, has said that the charity is currently undertaking emergency relief efforts in conjunction with other local organisations, focussing efforts on the affected districts of Santa Cruz and Beni.

Families affected by flooding in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

In Santa Cruz, where the authorities took the decision to evacuate families from severely affected areas, families are currently being sheltered in emergency camps, where they receive blankets, food, medical assistance and wherever possible, school lessons are continuing.

SOS Children has so far prepared 500 emergency parcels to provide families with necessary rations, including foodstuffs, kitchen utensils, candles, matches, and medicines. New shelters continue to be established and SOS Children is in the process of setting up child care services to provide support to up to 450 children affected by the floods.

The main SOS Children programmes in Santa Cruz have been largely unaffected by the flooding, however several community homes run by the charity’s SOS Social Centre in the city, and are located in the poverty belt of the city, have been badly affected. Public transport and movements in these areas have been severely restricted. Nonetheless, SOS staff continue to offer support to children and families from the surrounding neighbourhoods.

The unusual weather has left many more families and children homeless and in extremely difficult living situations.

More news is expected in the coming days.

Relevant Countries: Bolivia.

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