Belgium supports the fight against forest fires in the Amazon

Large parts of South America have been affected by forest fires in the Amazon, including Bolivia. More than 4 million hectares of the Amazon forest already went up in flames. Over 2000 firefighters were deployed throughout the entire area. These are the most devastating fires of the past ten years and the difficult month of September, that traditionally has many fires, has only just begun. The Bolivian authorities therefore asked the international community for help. Our country offers relief supplies through a coordination mechanism of the European Commission. Other European countries such as France, Switzerland and Austria also decided to send specialised assistance.

Today, 336 tents, 14 generators and 672 mosquito nets will be sent to the affected area. These goods will help the rescue workers of Bolivia’s Civil Protection in their fight against the forest fires.

The Federal Public Service (FPS) Foreign Affairs coordinates the B-FAST mission. The Belgian embassy in Lima (Peru) will ensure the supplies are delivered properly in Santa Cruz. Development Cooperation, Defence, the FPS Home Affairs, the FPS Policy and Support (BOSA) and the FPS Public Health provide logistic and administrative assistance.

Established by Royal Decree of 28 February 2003, B-FAST (Belgian First Aid and Support Team) is the rapid intervention unit of the federal government in case of disasters abroad. It is an interdepartmental structure composed by services of the Prime Minister, Foreign Affairs, Home Affairs, Defence, Public Health, Budget and Development cooperation.