‘Breaking new ground’ in flood-hit Paraguay

by ShelterBox | @ShelterBox | ShelterBox
Monday, 30 June 2014 11:43 GMT

BRAZIL. 15 JANUARY 2012. Even though this is ShelterBox's first response to a disaster in Paraguay, it has responded many times to crises in other countries in the region including Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Brazil, which is pictured here. (David Hatcher/ShelterBox)

Image Caption and Rights Information

* Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Thomson Reuters Foundation.

ShelterBox is sending a team in response to torrential rains that have caused flooding in the southwestern region of Paraguay, including in and around the capital Asunción.

Reports say that over 200,000 people are affected across six different provinces. Over 70,000 are without homes in Asunción; many are sleeping in makeshift shelters.

Further heavy rainfalls are expected for the coming weeks until the end of July, leaving the flow levels of the Paraná and Paraguay rivers high at least throughout the rest of June that will prolong the displacement of families.

Response team members Liz Odell and Todd Finklestone arrive in the Latin American country on Tuesday to carry out shelter needs assessments.

‘Evacuation centres full’

‘This is the first time we have worked in Paraguay so we are breaking new ground,’ said Liz. ‘We are initially collaborating with the Paraguayan Red Cross and Pastoral Social Arquidiocesana to assess the need for emergency shelter along the banks of the Paraguay river.’

‘Many people are staying in evacuation centres, which are now full, so we will be going to the most vulnerable areas where many families remain displaced to see how ShelterBox can assist them,’ added Todd.

The rains have also destroyed crops and blocked roads. The team will do all it can to support the communities in desperate need.