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WFP Latin America & Caribbean Region COVID-19 Logistics Situation Update #4 | 6 August 2020

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1. Highlights

Constraints

Hurricane Season

  • Tropical Storm Isaias passed through the Caribbean before reaching hurricane level on 02 August 2020. Power outages and landslides across Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic were reported but the impact was very minor overall. Isaias marked the earliest ninth named storm on record, surpassing 2005`s Hurricane Irene by 8 days.

Lockdown

  • Several countries have extended nationwide quarantine including Argentina until 16 August 2020 and Colombia until 30 August 2020. Other countries have so far refrained from imposing more severe measures despite record numbers of daily cases, such as Brazil and Mexico.

Air

  • Several countries have postponed the re-opening of their airports for commercial passenger flights: 10-15-16 August: Honduras, Bolivia and Cuba; 17 August: Argentina and Chile (only open to residents and nationals); 31 August: Ecuador and Paraguay; 1-2 September: Peru and Costa Rica (only open to residents, nationals and tourists from EU, UK and Canada); 4 September: El Salvador.

  • Although many countries are extending closures for commercial passenger flights, an increased activity of U.S. Carriers in Central America and the Caribbean is being observed. In addition to that, European Carriers are also adding frequencies and new destinations for their repatriation operations.

  • For Panama, Copa Airlines will be resuming its operations from Tocumen Airport (Panama City) as of 1 August 2020 but only for Panamanian nationals and residents and with a very limited capacity.

Land

  • Paraguay reopened its land borders with Brazil for cross border cargo transport with small and medium trucks.

  • Brazil – Uruguay border: trucker demonstration over COVID-19 tests have halted cargo shipping between Santana do Livramento and Rivera border points.

  • Bolivia: following postponement of the Bolivian General Elections, protesters are blocking 30 points on the highways around La Paz, El Alto, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz. Cross-border transport with Argentina and Brazil has resumed.

Sea

  • Northern Chilean Ports (Arica, Iquique) are only working 2 shifts of which only 1 is reserved for container deliveries. This is causing delays and additional costs for import shipments to Bolivia. All current deliveries from Chilean and Peruvian ports are being halted due to current civil unrest.

  • Bolivian soya beans export shipments are significantly delayed (up to 3 days instead of 3 hours) at Peruvian and Chilean border crossing points before they reach ports of respective countries.

Services

  • Between 18 – 29 July, the WFP Panama Hub has received 6 charter flights loaded with critical health supply from WFP Guangzhou Hub.
  • The first WFP passenger flight in the region took place on Wednesday 5 August, transporting humanitarian staff between Colombia and Mexico.