16 May 2019

Paraguay floods

Heavy rains over the past few days in Paraguay have caused floods affecting a large part of the country's population, mainly in Ñeembucú, Presidente Hayes, Alto Paraguay, Concepción, Capital (Asunción), Misiones, San Pedro and Central departments. According to the latest official reports, over 42,000 families are in need of assistance in the most affected locations. According to reports by the National Bureau of Health Surveillance as of 11 May, 42,100 families have been affected by the floods. Nevertheless, the number of people affected may increase as additional information is being collected in the field. Significant rainfall has accumulated in the middle basin of the Paraguay River over the past month, the values accumulated in the middle basin have exceeded what is considered normal for the month. In addition, electrical storms have aggravated the consequences of the floods. In the southern area of the country, the situation has been worsened by the shifting of the protective walls in the city of Pilar (Ñeembucú department), which resulted in the evacuation of part of the population. During a press conference held by the Emergencies Minister on 13 May, authorities reported that 62,000 families have been affected. UNICEF has organized missions to the affected departments, deploying specialized staff to carry out assessments and to conduct immediate psychosocial support interventions. UNICEF maintains permanent communication with the SEN and is identifying opportunities to contribute to the emergency response in a coordinated manner, and has also deployed staff to affected areas in Asunción to assess and document the situation of children affected.