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. 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.