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    Posted July 3, 2014 by

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    American volunteer to assist flood survivors in Paraguay with ShelterBox

    Image: Brazil. January 15, 2012. While this is ShelterBox's first disaster response in Paraguay, it has responded many times to crises in other countries in the region, including Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Brazil. (David Hatcher/ShelterBox)

    International disaster relief organization, ShelterBox is sending a team to Paraguay in response to torrential rains that have caused flooding in the southwestern region of the country, including in and around its capital, Asunción.

    Reports say more than 200,000 people are affected across six provinces. Over 70,000 people are without homes in Asunción; many are sleeping in makeshift shelters.

    Response team members Liz Odell and Todd Finklestone, a Boston resident, will arrive in the Latin American country on Tuesday to assess the need for emergency aid such as shelter, blankets, water filters, stoves and other lifesaving tools that help families who lose their homes and possessions following a disaster begin to rebuild their lives and communities.

    "This is the first time we have worked in Paraguay so we are breaking new ground," said Odell. "We are initially collaborating with the Paraguayan Red Cross and Pastoral Social Arquidiocesana to assess the need for emergency shelter along the banks of the Paraguay River."

    "Many people are staying in government provided structures along the city streets, which are now full, so we will be focusing our efforts toward the most vulnerable communities along the rivers where many families remain displaced to see how ShelterBox can assist them," said Finklestone.

    The rains have also destroyed crops and blocked roads. Further heavy rainfalls are expected through the end of July.
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