Mr. Speaker, in December 2010, the people of Colombia were hit hard by terrible floods.
I was saddened not only by the number of deaths, but also by the number of families affected by this natural disaster. Oxfam has estimated that over 2.1 million people have been affected by the severe flooding, which destroyed nearly 3,000 homes and damaged farmland, infrastructure and major highways. Some 28 of the country's 32 districts were flooded.
The flooding has exacerbated the already glaring socio-economic inequalities. It is estimated that about 70% of those affected by this disaster do not have access to clean drinking water.
In Colombia, it is time to rebuild and it is a time for hope. Here in North America, however, it is also time to rebuild—within our hearts and minds.
Long live the people of Colombia and may pan-American solidarity prevail.