The Chaco region of Paraguay is experiencing severe drought—limiting families’ access to safe water and triggering losses in agriculture, livestock and dairy production since May 2013. The lack of rain during the first months of the year prevented families from getting the water needed to fill their reserve tanks.
The Government of Paraguay declared a state of emergency in September 2013. Approximately 75,000 people in 246 communities have been affected. The drought has resulted in the loss of a large number of livestock, severely impacted the livelihoods of small farmers and affected communities that are still recovering from the 2012 floods. The impact of the drought was exacerbated by a frost in July and August.
The American Red Cross has committed $50,000 for delivery of relief supplies to households in need. The Paraguayan Red Cross mobilized a damage-assessment team and participated in coordination meetings to identify areas of interaction and intervention with the government and other humanitarian aid organizations. The Government of Paraguay has provided approximately 2.5 million gallons of water and—alongside the World Food Programme—has provided food parcels to approximately 8,000 households.