The heavy rains produced by the La Niña phenomenon have left nine Bolivian departments under water. Flooding in Beni, Chuquisaca, Cochabamba, La Paz, Oruro, Pando, Potosí, Santa Cruz, and Tarija have affected 73,776 families and caused 63 deaths. The most affected areas are Trinidad, capital of the department of Beni (with 20,000 affected families) and the department of Santa Cruz (19,818 affected).

The floods reveal once more how vulnerable the population is to chronic hydrometeorologic disasters. There continue to be deficiencies in managing nutritional requirements and shelters and in gathering health information in remote areas.

Since November 2007, Bolivia has suffered from climatological phenomena that, according to experts, are more severe than those caused by El Niño at the beginning of 2007. The World Food Program (WFP) has reported that 80% of the people who suffered from floods in early 2007, suffered again with the recent heavy rains. The flooding has increased the risk of epidemics and there have been reports of cases of dengue, yellow fever, hemorrhagic dengue, hanta virus, malaria, conjunctivitis, diarrheal diseases, leptospirosis, and respiratory diseases.

PAHO/WHO has concentrated its efforts on coordinating disaster response in the areas of international cooperation, epidemiologic surveillance, vector control, mental health care, logistical support, and resource mobilization. For more information, write to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..