Israel’s embassies in Asuncion, Paraguay, and Montevideo, Uruguay, are organizing donations of humanitarian-relief supplies for families displaced by the severe floods that have impacted tens of thousands of citizens in Paraguay, Uruguay, Argentina and Brazil.

Paraguay is the hardest hit of the South American countries affected by what is being called the worst flooding in 50 years, and its government has declared a state of emergency as approximately 130,000 people – most of them residents of the capital city — are living in temporary shelters.

Israel’s embassy in Paraguay is donating PYG 60,000,000 ($10,150) worth of supplies to be purchased in Paraguay and distributed along with the Ministry of National Emergency, according to Israeli Ambassador Peleg Lewi.

Boxes of donated supplies like this are being distributed to displaced Paraguayans through a donation from the Israeli embassy. Photo courtesy of the Israeli Embassy in Asuncion
Boxes of donated supplies like this are being distributed to displaced Paraguayans through a donation from the Israeli embassy. Photo courtesy of the Israeli Embassy in Asuncion

The Israeli embassy in Montevideo is contributing an equivalent amount to flood victims in Uruguay, where more than 13,000 people were displaced by the disaster.

“As part of the close relationship between our two countries, and in light of this difficult time for Paraguayan citizens affected by the floods, the government of Israel would like to contribute their bit for the rehabilitation of victims,” Lewi wrote to Paraguayan Minister of Foreign Affairs Eladio Loizaga.

The donation, to include supplies for some 500 families specifically requested by the Ministry of National Emergency, is to be distributed this week, according to Lewi. Israel also donated funds to Paraguay following floods in 2014.

Israel re-opened its embassy in Asuncion in July last year after it had been closed since 2002 due to budgetary constraints. The Jewish state and Paraguay have a free trade agreement and cooperate in the areas of water, agriculture, education, and medicine.

Israeli ambassador to Paraguay Peleg Lewi submitting the charter to reopen the Israeli embassy to President Horacio Cartes on July 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dirrección de Informática/SICOM Paraguay
Israeli ambassador to Paraguay Peleg Lewi submitting the charter to reopen the Israeli embassy to President Horacio Cartes on July 27, 2015. Photo courtesy of Dirrección de Informática/SICOM Paraguay

In Uruguay, Israeli Ambassador Nina Ben-Ami said: “The friendship between Israel and Uruguay is historic and profound. Whenever we step forward to help our friends when they need it, it is in the nature of cooperation and our commitment.”

Floods in Uruguay, December 2015. Photo courtesy of Sistema Nacional de Emergencias
Floods in Uruguay, December 2015. Photo courtesy of Sistema Nacional de Emergencias