Following the most recent forest fire that affected the Chilean city of Valparaiso, the Chilean government, along with NGOs and private companies, has been supporting the rebuilding of the destroyed houses. The housing solutions used are considered temporary; the model is known as “mediaguas” in Chile. As the reconstruction process has been extremely rapid, some households have rebuilt their homes in sectors considered as risk areas. While the government has tried to intervene, this was not fully possible because part of the population has ignored the recommendations and resettled in their homes. This situation, combined with the beginning of winter has led to a number of problems with these housing solutions.
The heavy precipitations in the city of Valparaiso in recent weeks have generated other problems for households, such as water leaks in roofs, insufficient waterproofing of the houses, and water entering into the home; this situation has caused further loss of goods such as clothing, appliances and other items.
In light of this situation, the Chilean Red Cross (ChRC) decided to establish a Cash Transfer Programme. This programme, initially planned as a conditional cash transfer, was changed to unconditional cash transfer to better respond to the current challenges faced by the affected population. The cash transfer will help families to repair waterrelated issues in their homes, but also to attempt to replace some of the goods lost during the most recent precipitations. Thus, the Cash Transfer Programme has been moved from the emergency sector to that of shelter and settlements in order to implement the programme without direct restrictions placed on the location of homes.
Additionally, the heavy precipitation has delayed the implementation of activities planned within this operation, such as the evaluation for the final delivery of humanitarian aid to selected cash transfer beneficiaries. It is for this reason that a one-month extension is being sought to finalize the Cash Transfer Programme as well as the evaluation of its use by the families. This extension does not affect the budget.
The Chilean Red Cross has decided to use the funds raised at the national level towards the Cash Transfer Programme. This will allow the ChRC to increase the amount of money to be provided for each household and contribute to their improving the living conditions. The selected beneficiaries belong to populations in a situation of vulnerability, as assessed using ChRC selection criteria. The IFRC, on behalf of the National Society, would like to thank the European Commission Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection (ECHO), the Netherlands Red Cross and government, and the Spanish Red Cross and government for their generous contributions to replenish 67% of the allocation made to this operation. The major donors and partners of DREF include the Australian, American and Belgian governments, the Austrian Red Cross, the Canadian Red Cross and government, Danish Red Cross and government, ECHO, the Irish and the Italian governments, the Japanese Red Cross Society, the Luxembourg government, the Monaco Red Cross and government, the Netherlands Red Cross and government, the Norwegian Red Cross and government, the Swedish Red Cross and government, the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID), the Medtronic and Z Zurich Foundations, and other corporate and private donors. The Directorate-General for Humanitarian Aid (DG ECHO) has replenished the DREF up to 50 per cent for the allocation made to this operation.