LA PAZ – Bolivia’s President Evo Morales announced on Wednesday that the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) bloc will contribute $1 million to help combat the fires that have ravaged thousands of hectares of forests and grasslands in the eastern Bolivian region of Santa Cruz.
Talking with the media in the town of San Ignacio de Velasco, Morales said that the member countries of ALBA had earlier in the day approved the sum to support efforts to curb the fire.
This amount is in addition to $300,000 granted to Bolivia by the Development Bank of Latin America, $200,000 by the Inter-American Development Bank and another $150,000 from the United Nations, said the president.
Morales also highlighted and appreciated the recent arrival of two helicopters, sent by the government of Peru, to help mitigate the fire from the air.
The aircrafts will operate under the coordination of Bolivia’s armed forces and the air force, he added.
The president regretted that the fire had rekindled in Charagua, in the south of the Cruceño department. The government-hired supertanker aircraft was sent to contain the spread.
He said they had also decided to set up another operational command at San Ignacio de Velasco airport, in the Chiquitania, to plan and coordinate firefighting tasks in the surrounding areas.
On Thursday, 400 military personnel from other regions also arrived in San Ignacio de Velasco to help in efforts to mitigate the heat sources in the area, according to a statement by the Ministry of Defense.