Peru

Peru: Cold Wave DREF Operation No. MDRPE002 Final Report

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GLIDE no. CW-2007-000090-PER

The International Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) is a source of un-earmarked money created by the Federation in 1985 to ensure that immediate financial support is available for Red Cross Red Crescent response to emergencies. The DREF is a vital part of the International Federation's disaster response system and increases the ability of national societies to respond to disasters.

Summary: CHF 18,000 (USD 17,143 or EUR 10,909) was allocated from the Federation's Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) on 29 June 2007 to cover the costs of initial assessment missions. An additional CHF 170,000 (USD 161,904 or EUR 103,030) was allocated on 17 July 2007 to support the resulting plan of action.

This operation was implemented over 3 months, and was completed by 29 September 2007. Unearmarked funds to repay DREF are encouraged.

During the month of June, 2007, the Peruvian government declared a state of emergency due to extreme cold weather affecting departments across the country. There were 5,725 cases of pneumonia reported in children less than five years in 10 affected departments. This DREF allocation ensured that 1,636 families (6,570 people) received basic relief items providing them with lifesaving support.

The situation

During the winter months of 2007 in Peru, extreme cold temperatures were registered as departments across the country were seriously hit by a cold wave. Communities living 3,800 metres above sea level were worst affected experiencing freezing temperatures, reaching as low as -25 °C.

All affected areas are characterized by high levels of poverty and high levels of vulnerability, as communities live in isolated rural areas with limited access to basic services. Thousands of people, mainly rural farming families were affected by the freezing temperatures. Hectares of crops were also lost, the source of families' incomes and livelihoods. Children under the age of five were particularly vulnerable to the low temperatures; 5,725 of cases of pneumonia amongst children were reported and 97 children's lives were lost to the disease.

The National Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Peru (Servicio Nacional de Meteorologia e Hidrologia del Perú - SENAMHI) issued a warning on the severe low temperatures. In June, the government declared the entire country in a state of emergency for 60 days due to the freezing temperatures to facilitate assistance to those people affected. The departments most affected were Ayacucho, Apurímac, Arequipa, Cusco, Junín, Huancavelica, Moquegua, Pasco, Puno and Tacna placing at risk at least 711,172 people.

Peruvian government ministries, such as Civil Defence (INDECI), the Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Women and Social Development, responded with assistance to affected people and distributed a total 124,247 blankets and 221,870kg of warm clothing to 470,711 people. Humanitarian organisations also responded to the emergency including Oxfam International and the Adventist Development and Relief Agency by collecting donations such as clothing, food, and drinking water amongst other activities.

How we work

All International Federation assistance seeks to adhere to the Code of Conduct for the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO's) in Disaster Relief and is committed to the Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response (Sphere) in delivering assistance to the most vulnerable.

The International Federation's activities are aligned with its Global Agenda, which sets out four broad goals to meet the Federation's mission to "improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity".

Global Agenda Goals:

- Reduce the numbers of deaths, injuries and impact from disasters.

- Reduce the number of deaths, illnesses and impact from diseases and public health emergencies.

- Increase local community, civil society and Red Cross Red Crescent capacity to address the most urgent situations of vulnerability.

- Reduce intolerance, discrimination and social exclusion and promote respect for diversity and human dignity.

Contact information

For further information specifically related to this operation please contact:

In Peru: Dr. Pabel Angeles Chaparro, National Relief Coordinator, Peruvian Red Cross, e-mail: coord-socorros@cruzroja.org.pe, phone (511) 470 0606.

In Peru: Giorgio Ferrario, Regional Representative, Lima Regional Representation, giorgio.ferrario@ifrc.org, phone (511) 221 8151, fax (511) 441 3607.

In Panama: Maria Alcazar, Relationship Management Coordinator, Americas Zone, e-mail: maria.alcazar@ifrc.org, phone (507) 317 1300, fax (507) 317 1304.

In Panama: Jose Garcia-Lozano, Head of Zone, Americas, email: jose.garcialozano@ifrc.org, phone (507) 317 13 00, fax (507) 317 13 04.

In Geneva: Pablo Medina, Operations Coordinator, email pablo.medina@ifrc.org, phone (41 79) 217 3376