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Last Updated: Saturday, 24 February 2007, 03:32 GMT
Bolivia head issues flood attack
By Emilio San Pedro
BBC News

Bolivia President Evo Morales
Morales said poorer nations bore the brunt of global warming
Bolivian President Evo Morales has said developed countries and their failure to combat climate change are responsible for weeks of flooding.

The floods, reportedly the worst for more than 20 years, have killed nearly 40, with tens of thousands of people forced to abandon their homes.

Mr Morales accused wealthy countries of ignoring the Kyoto Protocol which seeks to halt climate change.

International aid has begun arriving in response to a government appeal.

Cases of dengue fever and malaria have been reported.

In a strongly-worded address, President Morales said poorer nations were being made to bear the brunt of what he described as the uncontrollable quest for industrial growth by richer ones.

Villagers rescue a cow in floods in Trinidad, Bolivia

This type of action, he said, demonstrated a lack of concern on the part of the developed world in altering climate change and the fate of the planet.

The International Red Cross says that more than 350,000 people have been affected by the flooding, many of them poor indigenous people in remote areas of the country.

"One of the main difficulties we're facing is actually to help proper access to the most forgotten and most affected areas," said Giorgio Ferrario, the head of the regional delegation for South America of the Red Cross.

Mr Ferrario says the Red Cross is planning to make a significant increase in its initial call for international assistance for the victims of the flooding.

The first shipment of international aid has already been reaching Bolivia from Venezuela and neighbouring Peru, with Argentina, the United States and others also lending assistance.

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