Peru + 8 more

Latin America & The Caribbean Weekly Situation Update (22-28 November 2021) As of 29 November 2021

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Situation Report
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PERU: EARTHQUAKE

KEY FIGURES
2.8K PEOPLE AFFECTED BY 7.5-MAGNITUDE EARTHQUAKE IN NORTHERN PERU

On 28 November, a 7.5-magnitude earthquake struck the Amazonas region in northern Peru. Per the National Civil Defence Institute (INDECI), the 131 km- deep quake affected some 2,800 people across 35 provinces. Areas in Ecuador and Colombia also reported shaking. There are no reports of deaths, nor significant numbers of injuries. Government officials expect the impact to remain relatively low given the sparse population density of the affected areas.

Preliminary official reports found that the earthquake destroyed or rendered 127 houses uninhabitable, damaging 535 others, leaving 600 people without their homes. Officials indicate that the impact is well within the Government's ability to respond. INDECI is currently on the ground delivering humanitarian goods and working with regional emergency operations centres.

CENTRAL AMERICA: MIGRATION

KEY FIGURES
6.4M FOOD-INSECURE PEOPLE IN CENTRAL AMERICA IN OCTOBER 2021, UP FROM 2.2M IN 2019
43% OF THOSE SURVEYED IN THE NORTH OF CENTRAL AMERICA HAVE PLANS TO MIGRATE, UP FROM 8% IN 2019

NORTH OF CENTRAL AMERICA

Per WFP, the number of food-insecure people in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras has tripled from 2.2 million in 2019 to 6.4 million in October 2021 due to rising poverty and the lingering effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and Hurricanes Eta and Iota in November 2020. This growth in needs is driving 43 per cent of those surveyed to consider migrating, a staggering five-fold growth from 8 per cent in 2019.

The report adds that people suffering from food insecurity are three times as likely to develop plans to migrate compared to those with regular food access. These deteriorating conditions, which also include increasingly intense recurrent climate shocks and chronic violence, have driven an annual average of 378,000 people to attempt to migrate to the United States, the final destination for 89 per cent of migrants, since 2016.

Of those still in Central America seeking to migrate, only 3 per cent have made concrete plans, with many citing family separations and the high cost of migration as significant deterrents.

PANAMA

According to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) personnel operating in the Darién province along Panama’s eastern border with Colombia, the 18 cases of sexual assault they have responded to in the past week is a sign that protection risks are increasing again for migrants making the trek into Panama through the dangerous Darién gap after a lull in cases in September and October.

MSF is urging Panamanian authorities to again scale up the presence of border enforcement agents to ward off criminal groups often responsible for these attacks. Since beginning operations in Darién in April 2021, MSF has responded to 288 cases of sexual violence, a number they believe to be roughly a quarter of the real number of cases due to underreporting stemming from migrants' reluctance over their status in the country and to avoid preventing further delays to their journey.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit https://www.unocha.org/.