The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.
Summary: CHF 120,000 (USD 99,750 or EUR 72,993) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 18 September, 2007 to support the national society in delivering assistance to some 1,922 families.
Paraguay faced one of the worst droughts and forest fires in history, affecting more than 260,000 people. The most vulnerable received emergency assistance such as food parcels in the departments of San Pedro and Concepcion.
During 2007, Paraguay endured one of the most severe winters and one of the most extreme droughts. The lack of rain caused the vegetation to scorch; initiating three weeks of continuing fires (August to September, 2007). The fires deeply affected the northern departments of San Pedro, Concepcion, Presidente Hayes, Amambay and Canindeyu; the fires affected 260,000 people and more than one million hectares of agricultural land, forests, pastures and houses and left one person dead.
On 12 September, the Paraguayan government declared a national state of emergency. The most urgent needs were immediately identified: water distribution, rehabilitation of water supply systems, food parcels, medical assistance, construction supplies, agricultural tools and seeds. The government selected the beneficiaries by identifying the families directly affected by the fires, farmers who lost no more than 20 hectares of land and families affected by the fires that are associated in indigenous organizations.
After the emergency, the Secretary of National Emergency (Secretaria de Emergencia Nacional - SEN) together with the UN started to work on the issues of risk management on national, departmental and municipal level. The aim of this process is to stimulate the creation and organization of risk reduction structures and emergency and disaster attention in the departments, cities and villages of the country, which will allow for a strengthening of the civil protection and which will coordinate the activities as established by the law.
For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:
- In Paraguay: Dr. Luis Fernando Díaz de Bedoya: President of the Paraguyan Red Cross; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: (595) 21-208199; fax: (595) 21-211 560.
- In Peru: Giorgio Ferraro, Regional Representative of Regional representation for South America, Giorgio.email@example.com; phone: (511) 221 8151; fax: (511) 441 3607.
- In Panama: Dario Alvarez, Acting Head of the Pan American Disaster Response Unit; email: firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: (507) 316 1001; fax: (507) 316 1082.
- In Panama: Maria Alcazar, Resource Mobilization Coordinator, Americas; email: email@example.com; phone: (507) 380 0250; fax: (507) 317 1304.
- In Geneva: Pablo Medina, Operations Coordinator for the Americas; email firstname.lastname@example.org; phone: (41) 79 2173376; fax: (41) 22 730 0395.