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Central America calls for int'l help for flood victims

10-26-2011 10:50 BJT

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UNDP providing assistance to those impacted by torrential rains in Central America, Mexico

UNITED NATIONS, Oct. 24 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) is providing technical assistance to those devastated by torrential rains in Central America and Mexico which has affected nearly 570,000 people, a UN spokesperson said here Monday.

"The UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative in El Salvador, Roberto Valent, called the situation a catastrophe, estimating the destruction costs in the country at more than 1 billion U.S. dollars," Martin Nersirky, UN spokesperson, said at a daily press conference.

Soldiers from the Honduran army load food in Tegucigalpa for flood and landslide
victims in the southern area of the country. More than 90 people were counted
dead Tuesday from heavy rains pounding Central America after Guatemala reported
more people swept away by raging floodwaters and Costa Rica found four drowned.
(AFP Photo/Orlando Sierra)

The torrential rains have so far impacted five Central American countries and Mexico, affecting nearly 570,000 people and left more than 80 dead.

"Valent also called on the international community to assist Central America in order to rebuild the flood-affected countries in a more resilient manner, adding that climate change-related disasters are likely to hit the region again," Nesirky said.

El Salvador and Guatemala are the worst affected countries: at least 310,000 people were affected and nearly 70 died. Nicaragua, Mexico, Honduras and Costa Rica were also heavily affected.

Residents come to view a Pan American highway bridge destroyed by flood waters
in Ateos, El Salvador, Saturday Oct. 16, 2011. Authorities say at least 66
people have died in flooding and landslides provoked by six days of heavy
rains in Central America. Salvadoran civil protection director Jorge Melendez
says most of his country's 24 dead were buried in their homes by landslides.
(AP Photo/Luis Romero)

Many parts of these countries remained inaccessible as landslides blocked roads and bridges, and aerial access continued to be difficult because of bad weather, the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said in a report.

A team of experts from the UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination is carrying out a comprehensive evaluation of needs in the worst-hit parts of the region, said the report.

The UN World Food Program (WFP) meanwhile has also expressed concerns about both the immediate and long-term impact on food security in the region amid rising food prices on the international market.


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Editor:James |Source: CNTV

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