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Bolivia struggles with floods

  • Story Highlights
  • More than 19,000 families lost their means of subsistence, officials say
  • Floodwaters have destroyed more than 1.2 million houses, officials say
  • Bolivia needs nearly $10M in food aid, $800M in recovery aid, officials say
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From Gloria Carrasco
CNN
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EL BENI, Bolivia (CNN) -- Floodwaters have destroyed more than 1.2 million houses, according to Bolivian officials, with the northeastern department of Beni seeing the worst flooding in 50 years.

"There are still about 29,000 to 30,000 families that will need food for the next four or five months," said Victoria Ginja, director of the World Food Programme in Bolivia.

Bolivia needs nearly $10 million to ease the hunger of the thousands of displaced people and more than $800 million to recover from the disaster, officials said.

In the entire area, much of it low-lying areas, more than 19,000 families remain in a critical condition after having lost their means of subsistence, officials said. Of those, 16,000 families are living in shelters.

For some, this is the third consecutive year that flood waters have sent them fleeing their homes.

"Everything's lost, even my children's birth certificates," said Virginia Salvatierra, one of the displaced. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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