GOVERNMENT APPROVES EMERGENCY AID FOR VICTIMS OF THE FLOODS IN VENEZUELA
Liz O'Donnell, TD, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs with responsibility for Overseas Emergency Aid, has announced an initial allocation of IR£400,000 in emergency humanitarian assistance in response to the floods that have hit the coastal region. The Minister of State said:
"While the Government of Venezuela has responded quickly and effectively to this disaster, the scale of the devastation is only beginning to be realised. There is an urgent need for humanitarian aid including shelter, food aid and medical assistance. The grant announced today will go towards meeting the needs of those left homeless and destitute by the landslides and flooding."
Part of the funds announced by the Minister will be channelled through the International Federation of the Red Cross in response to their appeal for assistance to meet the needs of the relief operation.
While no official figures on the numbers affected are available as yet, initial estimates put the death toll at at least 10,000, with thousands more missing. The death toll is expected to rise considerably as the rescue operation proceeds.
The Government of Venezuela has reacted rapidly to the crisis. Civil and military resources are being used to carry out rescue and relief operations and an air-and-sea military rescue operation involving 12,000 troops has been set up. President Hugo Chavez, a former paratrooper, has taken personal command of the rescue operation. Thousands of survivors are being evacuated to other parts of the country where they are being provided with shelter, clothes and food. In addition, food and water supplies are being airdropped onto the affected areas.
The Minister for Foreign Affairs, David Andrews, TD has today expressed the sympathy of the Irish Government and people to the Government and people of Venezuela on the terrible loss of life and damage they have suffered in the recent floods. The Minister said Ireland would play its full part in supporting Venezuela at its time of loss and devastation.Top