Colombia asks PAHO for support in the face of poor air quality in the border area with Venezuela

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BOGOTÁ (Sputnik) – The Government of Colombia requested support from the Pan American Health Organization to contact the Venezuelan administration as a result of a series of burns in the border area that affects air quality in the Colombian city of Cúcuta, indicated the Ministry of Environment and the Colombian Foreign Ministry.

“Yesterday, March 30, the National Government requested the support of the Pan American Health Organization so that, through it, the serious concern caused by the deterioration of air quality in the city is transmitted to Venezuela of Cúcuta and its potential impact on public health and especially, due to the threat posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, “both organizations indicated in a joint statement.

They also said that the support of the Colombian Ombudsman, Carlos Alfonso Negret, has been requested to “convey to his counterpart in Venezuela the concern of the health authorities about the risks that the situation poses to public health on both sides of the border”.

Since March 27, the Autonomous Regional Corporation of the Northeast Border (Corponor), the Governor’s Office of Norte de Santander and the Mayor’s Office of Cúcuta have warned “about an anomalous situation” with the air quality in the city, allegedly caused by burning in the Venezuelan region of Ureña, bordering Colombia.

According to the Government’s text, Colombian authorities contacted the governor of the Táchira State, Laidy Gómez, who arranged for a technical visit to the Pedro María Ureña garbage dump area, in Venezuelan territory, which took place on 28 of March.

“The technical report of said visit shows that burns were carried out at that site, but that for the moment they were already controlled,” indicated the Foreign Ministry and the Ministry of the Environment, and warned that, despite this, “high levels of pollution in the city of Cúcuta “.

At the moment, Corponor officials carry out continuous reviews of other possible sources of emission of polluting particles in Colombian territory to rule out that these are the causes of the phenomenon that occurs in the city of Cúcuta, the statement said.

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