International community and banks are combining efforts and sending money resources to help the local authorities in aiding the victims. The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) loaned $200,000 to Colombia to rebuild housing damaged by this year's rainy season, reports a press release today.
IDB president Luis Alberto Moreno announced the immediate disbursement of a $200,000 emergency grant and pledged the Bank’s assistance for helping to rebuild infrastructure and housing in Colombia.
Among the options the IDB is offering to the Colombian government are debt instruments for up to $120 million, including mechanisms for rapid and medium-term disbursement, and the possibility of redirecting uncommitted balances of operations in execution for disaster-related sectors, such as housing, water and sanitation, environment, and transport.
Colombia´s President, Juan Manuel Santos, met with the United Nations Secretary General Ban Kim-moon this week and had to leave early due to a disaster happened in Medellin, the second city of the country.
Official reports say that 194 people have died from the rainy season and 1.6 million people are homeless. The official numbers are still climbing as relief efforts are underway.
Landslide kills more than a hundred people in Medellin
An enormous landslide of about 25 thousand cubic meters of mud swept a housing area located on the slopes of a mountain on a highway connecting Bogota and Medellin. Affected families were evacuated and taken to temporary shelters while several other residents moved to friend´s and relatives´ houses.
Colombia is now facing the heaviest rainfall in 40 years and the local Risk Management Office maintains the “red code” in about 700 municipalities of the Country where floods and landslides have been occurring.
According to the last report by the national Red Cross, so far, in 28 departments of the country, the number of victims overcame the 1 million and 6 hundred people that are part of 333 thousand families.
More than 1,800 homes have been destroyed and 256,000 damaged, the Red Cross stated. Some 628 cities and towns have been impacted. Colombia's government last month tapped a rich if tainted vein to help fund relief for flood victims: dollars seized from drug traffickers.
President Santos said he was taking US$25 million in drug cash and asking the World Bank for another US$150 million to help the victims.
Anti-narcotics police have seized US$140 million this year in Colombia.
Santos said the $227 million the Government has used for flood relief this year isn't enough.
By Mauricio Betancourt 2010 ©