UN seeks emergency funds for vital health services following Peru earthquake
The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is appealing for $850,000 in emergency funding to ensure that up to 250,000 victims of the recent earthquake in Peru receive critical health services.
With these funds – which form part of a $37 million UN system-wide Flash Appeal launched yesterday – UNFPA will help restore and strengthen local primary health services following the 15 August earthquake, which struck 161 kilometres south of the capital, Lima.
The powerful quake, measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale, has resulted in the death of over 500 people and injured more than 1,000 others, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). In addition, preliminary assessments indicate that over 37,000 houses and four hospitals were destroyed, while 16 hospitals were damaged.
UNFPA will help improve emergency reproductive health care and assess local health services, particularly in isolated, rural mountain villages, as well as provide affected communities with reproductive health supplies and emergency birth kits. A total of 50,000 women and girls of childbearing age, including 15,000 pregnant women, stand to benefit from these activities.
The emergency funds will also help establish 15 community centres for those that lost their homes. The centres will provide hygiene kits and offer protection to vulnerable groups, such as women, girls, the elderly and disabled people from gender-based and other violence, and provide legal, medical, psychosocial and vocational services. A mobile team of professionals to assist victims of sexual violence will also be set up.
In addition, UNFPA will help carry out a census of the affected population, in cooperation with Peru’s National Institute for Statistics and Information and local authorities, to register individuals and determine losses, damage and access to basic services.
The agency has already allocated $90,000 which is being used to provide 6,000 emergency hygiene kits and to fund the initiation of the census.