Peru quake: UN
agencies press ahead with aid effort while identifying key needs
20 August – Clean water, basic sanitation,
food, shelter and temporary jobs have become the priority needs in
the wake of last week’s deadly earthquake in Peru, United Nations
relief officials said today as they prepared to launch a flash appeal
to help survivors while maintaining an emergency aid effort that
has continued since the disaster hit.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident
Coordinator Jorge Chediek said the situation in the worst affected
areas of Peru was starting to stabilize, five days after the quake,
measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, struck during the evening rush-hour.
At least 610 people were killed and more than 1,000 others wounded.
Mr. Chediek told UN Radio that “the delivery of basic goods
and services to the people affected” has improved since the
immediate days and hours after the quake struck, and UN agencies
were working to help the Peruvian Government manage its relief operations
and begin the phases of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
About $1 million has already been allocated by the UN through funds
from different agencies, including the World Food Programme (WFP),
the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), UNDP and
the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA).
Those agencies have been mobilizing food, sanitation supplies, medial
support and other aid now in the pipeline.
Mr. Chediek said a flash appeal is set to be launched to help the
survivors, many of whom have lost their homes or their livelihoods
as a result of the quake, whose epicentre was in the department of
Ica, about 161 kilometres southeast of the national capital, Lima.
He added that the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF),
set up to provide rapid assistance following crises, has preliminarily
approved a grant of $10 million to support relief efforts to an estimated
“The priorities are to provide shelter, water, sanitation, food and temporary
employment to the people most affected by the earthquake,” Mr. Chediek
OCHA reported that Peruvian authorities have established an air bridge
to the city of Pisco, one of the hardest-hit centres, to deliver
humanitarian supplies and allow the quick deployment of international
Two UN Disaster Assessment and Coordination (UNDAC)
team members are also working in Lima to help the Government identify
the areas that have yet to be covered, while three other UNDAC staff
are in Pisco, where a coordination centre has been located.
UN Development Programme (UNDP) Resident Coordinator Jorge Chediek
said the situation in the worst affected areas of Peru was starting
to stabilize, five days after the quake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter
scale, struck during the evening rush-hour. At least 610 people were
killed and more than 1,000 others wounded.