Asunción (Agenzia Fides) - Sexual abuse, mistreatment and diseases are some of the many risks that 147,500 displaced children face due to the floods that are ravaging Paraguay.
Many live huddled together in more than 100 illegal camps set up in the squares and streets of the capital. According to the latest official report, the full history of the Paraguay River has forced about 245 000 people to move across the Country. In Asunción alone, the most populous city in a Country with 6.7 million inhabitants, about 85 thousand people have abandoned their homes due to the gradual increase of the water. About 50 thousand children in the capital have been forced to abandon everything, and some for more than two months, even school; the lucky ones live with relatives or in the two military barracks. Most of them, however, are dragged between 126 camps or very precarious temporary spaces, where there is lack of security, bathrooms, hygiene and drinking water.
According to some specialists, the children in the refugee camps are three times as likely to be raped or sexually abused.
The NGO Plan International has set up 18 "Anua" tents, which in the Guarani language means hug, in order to allow children and families to live in open spaces away from the stress and the crisis they are going through. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 28/07/2014)