Chile: Forest Fires - Emergency Appeal Revision (MDRCL013)


This revised Emergency Appeal seeks a total of some 267,982 Swiss francs (reduced from 528,860 Swiss francs) to enable the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) to support the Chilean Red Cross (ChRC) to deliver assistance and support to some 2,000 people for seven months, with a focus on the following sectors: health (including psychosocial support); water, sanitation and hygiene promotion (WASH). The main reason for the revision is to allow for the alignment of the operational plan with financial resources available and expected to mobilise including a reduced time frame for implementation. Some of the needs are also being covered by the Government of Chile or other local actors. Details are available in the Emergency Plan of Action (EPoA) click here

The operational strategy


In January 2017, Chile was affected by a series of forest fires extending from the Metropolitan Region to the Bío Bío Region. As a result of the fires, 11 people died and 7,157 people were affected as per reports from the Chilean Government. The fires affected an unprecedented 600,000 hectares of land used for different activities.

Forest plantations were the most affected, representing 57.2 per cent of the total affected areas. Currently, basic services have been re-established in the affected zone and a recovery and rebuilding phase has begun, which is being managed by the Government and other contributors.

Red Cross response to date

The ChRC activated its response system in response to fires, including its Emergency Operations Centre, and mobilized more than 250 volunteers to support in the O’Higgins and Maule regions. These volunteers also distributed non-food items and implemented a Cash Transfer Programmes (CTP) and the operation provided affected families with cash distributions. Since the start of the emergency the ChRC has reached:

• 260 people with psychosocial support including adults, children and first responders • 150 people with first aid • 204 families with water bottles and hygiene kits (local donations)

• 200 families in the O'Higgins region and 200 families in the Maule region received cleaning and water kits (bilateral contribution from the German Red Cross)

• 130 families in the region of O'Higgins and to 127 families in the region of Maule with hygiene kits and jerry cans.

• Over 527 families reached during hygiene promotion sessions

Both the IFRC head of country cluster office covering Chile and the IFRCs’ Disasters and Crisis department continue coordinating with the ChRC to support the National Society through this operation. A general RIT team from the Paraguayan Red Cross was mobilized for two months to support the operation. The American Red Cross, the Japanese Red Cross Society and the Monaco Red Cross have also contributed to this appeal. In addition, the German Red Cross and the Red Cross Society of China are providing bilateral support to the ChRC.

The ICRC is implementing actions related to the Mapuche situation in the regions of Araucanía and Bío Bío; and it is also supporting an intervention team for massive events, and restoring family links (RFL).