The floods in Peru continue to put the lives of thousands of children in danger. UNICEF Peru is supporting the Government to protect those affected.
The northern department of Piura has been worst hit by the natural disaster and continues to be pounded with rain. The Government declared a National State of Emergency for Piura on 29 March, calling on the international community to offer assistance.
The numbers of those affected is rising and is expected to continue to do so over the coming weeks. The number of children affected or severely affected stands at 362,000.
Around 2 million children remain out of school, putting their education and protection at risk.
The Government has given the green-light for the humanitarian community to prepare an emergency response plan that allows the Humanitarian Network to mobilise funds in a coordinated manner.
UNICEF has an urgent need for $9.5million for the initial emergency response.
SITUATION OVERVIEW & HUMANITARIAN NEEDS
While the department of Piura, in northern Peru, has taken the brunt of El Niño Costero over the past few days, many other parts of Peru are facing severe weather conditions including flash floods, landslides and heavy rain. The toll of those affected has surged to over 1 million people, which includes over 362,000 children. The forecast is for more rain over the next few days, further exacerbating the situation. The most badly affected districts are Piura, Ancash, Lambayeque and La Libertad. Other parts of Peru are facing a lack of water. The Amazonas river is on red alert, and it is feared that with more rain coming, it is likely to burst its banks in this currently unaffected area.
The Government has established a financial mechanism for the transfer of funds to regional and local governments in the 818 districts affected by the emergency through the publication of three urgent decrees. In addition, funds have been allocated to the MoH and MoE for the maintenance and rehabilitation of the infrastructure of their services and buildings.
Water, sanitation and hygiene has been prioritized as an area of urgent humanitarian need to limit the rapid spread of waterborne and vector diseases.. With over 35,000 dwellings destroyed or collapsed, ensuring the 150,000 severely affected people receive immediate aid is of upmost importance. In addition, Cuna Mas, a social programme targeting children under 3 years old, reports the partial or complete suspension of nutrition activities in affected areas, putting the health of many children in jeopardy.
Two million school children have been unable to start the school term. This is a concern both from education and protection points of view; the school also acts as a life-saving child protection mechanisms. The education environment provides a return to normality for affected children. While in school, children are not subjected to the potential violence, exploitation and abuse arising in the context of disaster. A need for psycho-emotional support has been identified and will take place in many instances in education institutions.
Spotlight on Piura
Piura, now in a state of national emergency, has the most widespread damage as a result of the persistent heavy rains. Over 285,000 people have been affected with a further 31,000 severely affected through the loss of their home or other significant damage. Assessments of the area continue; 615 schools and 160 health institutions have been recorded damaged to date.