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Venezuela sends humanitarian aid to Colombia to help flood victims

Around noon on Tuesday, a Hercules airplane from the Bolivarian Armed Force arrived in Bogotá, Colombia carrying 14 tons of humanitarian aid for the families affected by the flooding of the Mira River in Tumaco.

Germán Jiménez, Regional Coordinator for the Colombian Risk Management Office for Disaster Prevention and Response, received the shipment of humanitarian aid sent by the Bolivarian government to the Colombian people.  Juan Carlos Romero, Logistics Director for the National Office for Civil Protection and Natural Disaster Administration of Venezuela, accompanied the shipment.

The cargo sent by the Bolivarian government consisted of the following: bags of food (120 units); cooking oil (32 boxes); white rice (50 cases); white sugar (50 cases); mosquito nets (200 unites); hammocks (200 units); blankets (200 units); sheets (200 units); canned tuna (1,000 boxes); and mineral water (108 boxes) for a total of 13,864 kilograms of aid.

Also present at the plane’s arrival were the Charge d’Affaires of the Venezuelan Embassy in Colombia, Gregorio Flores, as well as military attaches, and personnel from the Colombian Foreign Ministry and other people.

Flores indicated that the Venezuelan government is willing to send more aid over the next few days as long as there is due coordination with Colombian authorities.

Yesterday the Colombian government issued a decree declaring Tumaco a disaster area.  “The National Committee for Prevention and Response to Disasters took the decision to declare the municipality of Tumaco a disaster area, due to overflowing of the Mira River on February 15th,” said Fabio Valencia Cossio, Colombian Minister of the Interior and justice.

According to the Colombian Risk Management Office for Disaster Prevention and Response, the overflowing of the Mira and Telembí Rivers affected over 6 thousand families in 78 districts, causing the destruction of nearly 1,200 homes, and damage to 1,400 others houses, 104 schools, and 8 health car centers.  Furthermore, 5 aqueduct systems were destroyed, 1 person died and 22 more were injured, according to a new release from ‘Casa de Nariño’. 

In December of 2008, the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela also sent 14 tons of humanitarian aid to families affected by flooding in Magdalena, Colombia.  At the time, Foreign Minister Nicolás Maduro said “to the Colombian government and people, we express our solidarity and support.”

Agencia Bolivariana de Noticias, Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela Press Office / February 24, 2009

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