OTTAWA – As natural and man-made disasters continue to affect populations around the world, the Humanitarian Coalition is working through member agency Save the Children to respond to two very different crises: forest fires in Bolivia and flooding in Sudan.
Due to particularly dry conditions, regular annual grassland burning in Bolivia went out of control in August and has caused large-scale forest fires in three regions of the country. Thousands of families have lost their homes and farmlands, and face health risks due to lack of clean water, and the effects of smoke and ash.
During the same period in Africa, flash flooding and heavy rains destroyed homes, contaminated water, killed livestock and forced the displacement of thousands of people in Sudan. Affected populations require emergency shelter and household supplies as well as safe drinking water and sanitation.
Save the Children is responding to the particular needs of families and communities affected by these disasters by providing shelter, clean drinking water, hygiene kits and agricultural tools. The team on the ground is storing and disinfecting water, as well as repairing water sources and constructing temporary latrines. They are raising awareness and delivering training in proper hygiene practices and in child protection and gender issues.
According to Bill Chambers, President and CEO of Save the Children Canada, these two disasters have a lot in common.
“All children have the right to survive and reach their full potential,” Chambers says. “In any crisis, children need food, water and shelter. But they also need dignity and protection. Save the Children is dedicated to providing survivors of the floods in Sudan and the fires in Bolivia with the resources they need to rebuild their lives.”
In the case of humanitarian crises that affect a relatively small population or receive limited media attention, such as the flooding in Sudan and the forest fires in Bolivia, Global Affairs Canada supports the Humanitarian Coalition’s response through the Canadian Humanitarian Assistance Fund (CHAF). CHAF funding has so far enabled life-saving assistance to people affected by some 50 disasters in 31 countries.