1. The United Nations Resident Coordinator’s office in Asuncion informs that thepersistent drought, worsening since June last year, continues to affect the north ofParaguay, and in particular the Departments of Concepcion, San Pedro and Chaco Central.The area was also affected by frost in May and June last year, combined with fires andresulting burned pastures. The current climate conditions are unstable, with temperaturesreaching over 35 degrees. Not much rain has been registered so far.
2. The Government of Paraguay declared a state of emergency in the Department ofConcepcion on 24 September 1999. The districts of Horqueta, Loreto, Concepcion, Yby Yauand Belen are the worst hit by the drought, which has affected 15,000 persons and 11,307ha of crops on small farms producing limited quantities of commercial goods and for selfconsumption. Food assistance and potable water are very much needed.
3. The National Emergency Committee (CEN) has provided some food, temporary sheltermaterials and seeds, and efforts have been made to improve the water situation. Inaddition, the Departmental Emergency Committee of Concepcion, led by the Governor and theBishop of the parish, has been organizing food assistance.
4. A three-person in-country UNDAC Team is providing support to the Government inmanaging the ongoing drought. The Team traveled to Concepcion on 13 March, and iscurrently conducting field visits and producing reports. A final report is expected inApril. OCHA has provided a cash grant of USD 20,000, to be utilized for the purchase andinstallation of water pumps and for the fielding of the UNDAC mission.
5. The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), throughthe Paraguayan Red Cross, contributed 236,240 kg of food supplies including rice, sugar,flour, beans, oil and pasta. IFRC also released CHF 190,000 (USD 114,458) from itsDisaster Relief Emergency Fund for this operation in November 1999.
6. The European Community Humanitarian Office (ECHO) provided USD 324,000 through theSpanish Red Cross, to assist 8,533 families in the Department of Concepcion. The ECHOassistance programme runs until April 2000.
7. The Government of Japan supplied relief items including 1,200 water tanks, 18 waterpurifiers and 3 emergency health kits, to the value of USD 104,609, in November 1999. InMarch 2000, the United States allocated USD 25,000 to be used to meet the immediate reliefneeds of those affected by drought in Central Chaco.
8. The Catholic Relief Service donated PYG 134 million (USD 38,506) for food suppliesto be distributed in the Departments of Concepcion, San Pedro and Chaco Central. TheLion’s Club donated USD 10,000 for the purchase of foodstuffs.
9. OCHA is prepared to serve as a channel for cash contributions for the immediaterelief needs. Funds channeled through OCHA will be spent in co-ordination with therelevant organizations of the UN system and OCHA will provide written confirmation oftheir use. Funds should be transferred to OCHA Account No. CO-590.160.0 SWIFT-codeUBSWCHZ12A – at the UBS AG, PO Box 2770, CH-1211 Geneva 2, Switzerland, with reference:OCHA – Paraguay – Drought.
10. For coordination purposes, donors are requested to inform OCHA-Geneva of reliefmissions, pledges or contributions and their corresponding value by item.
11. This situation report, together with further information on ongoing emergencies, isalso available on the OCHA Internet Website at http://www.reliefweb.int