Latin America and the Caribbean: Weekly Note on Emergencies (15 August 2016) Year 9 Vol. 464
PERU: On 14 August, a 5.4 earthquake shook department of Arequipa, killing four people.Some 1,564 families are affected, 1,074 houses are inhabitable and 383 houses have collapsed. National and regional authorities are assisting affected people. The Government declared a 60-day state of emergency for seven districts in the province Arequipean province of Caylloma.
COLOMBIA – VENEZUELA: The footpath between the Venezuelan and Colombian border was reopened on Saturday 13 August with the implementation of a migration card. The footpath was open for 15 hours and allowed transit in both directions. On 11 August, the presidents of Venezuela and Colombia agreed to open the common border.
ECUADOR: After nearly four months of negotiations, the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing (MIDUVI) officially agreed that people receiving temporary housing assistance will not be excluded from the government´s housing reconstruction program. This agreement allows Shelter Sector partners to move forward with the distribution or construction of 3,700 temporary shelters. Since the earthquake, MIDUVI had allowed only emergency shelter materials to be distributed and had not approved any temporary shelters. Shelter partners had been hesitant to provide temporary shelters due to the high risk that the beneficiaries would then be excluded from government assistance. MIDUVI estimates that more than 30,000 houses were damaged or destroyed in the earthquake and aftershocks.
MIGRATION: Several Central American countries have closed their borders to Cuban, Haitian,
African and Asian migrants, which is resulting in humanitarian situations in the places where they are stranded. In Colombia, migrants continue to arrive in the municipality of Turbo. The Government of Panama closed its border with Colombia on 9 May 2016, but given the number of migrants traversing the Darien jungle, reopened it on 5 August with a controlled migratory flow as a humanitarian measure.
The Nicaraguan Government closed the Peñas Blancas border with Costa Rica on 15 November 2015. On 12 August, authorities confirmed that their country will maintain its migratory policy as a measure of safety against organized crime, drug and human trafficking.
SEQUIA: BOLIVIA: Some 133,000 families have been affected by drought in 7 departments - Oruro,
Cochabamba (the two most affected) and Beni have declared a state of emergency for drought.
The sectors most affected are water, sanitation and hygiene and food security. WFP carried out a rapid assessment in the department of Oruro and found that affected families are implementing survival strategies such as consuming food reserves, migrating and overworking work animals. These strategies could increase the risks of food insecurity, health and malnutrition.
MEXICO: The number of deaths in Mexico in the wake of "Earl" increased to 54 this weekend; in Puebla there are 40 victims, in Veracruz 13 and one in Hidalgo. The Secretary for Social Development (Sedesol) delivered blankets, mattresses and food and is implementing the Immediate Temporary Work Program in Huayacocotla,
Coscomatepec and Tequila, three municipalities affected by rain in Veracruz. Some $3.6 million pesos (US$190,800) has been allocated for temporary employment in these municipalities, which will benefit 2,700 families.
BELIZE: IFRC approved 143,828 Swiss francs (US$147,600) to assist 2,200 people (440 families). 335 households will be reached through a cash transfer programming based on initial assessments. Some activities will be covered by the Belize Red Cross Society though local donations.
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.