In the second week of July, Markus-Alexander Antonietti, Swiss Ambassador to Peru, and Martin Jaggi, SDC’s Head of Cooperation, made a visit to inspect and support the Ancash region, in order to provide support to the Ancash Regional Government, giving specific support to INDECI Huaraz and the Regional Health Department.
Strengthening INDECI’s logistics and humanitarian supply chain
The trip began last 14 July, in the INDECI Huaraz offices, where they met the director, Colonel EP (r) Néstor Coral Sotelo. He made a presentation of the region’s main risk scenarios and INDECI’s disaster risk management activities in the COVID-19 pandemic. This was an opportunity for identifying potential actions that the Swiss Confederation could support.
The meeting was also an opportunity for the ambassador to ratify Swiss support, commitment and solidarity. He spoke of his concern about the situation of COVID-19 nationwide and acknowledged INDECI’s actions, and the willingness of the Swiss government to continue supporting INDECI by strengthening the protection of frontline agencies.
Strengthen water, sanitation and hygiene capacities in health centres in the Santa and Huaraz provinces
Following the mission’s programme, on 15 July Ambassador Markus-Alexander Antonietti presented a water purification system called Kit-Wata-Plus-Secteur, which eliminates 99 per cent of bacteria and only requires water, salt and electricity to operate. The equipment is part of a project to be implemented in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization for strengthening the capacity of the Ancash regional government by focusing on two provinces, Santa and Huaraz. It will address the COVID 19 pandemic containment strategy linked to risk reduction associated with water, sanitation and hygiene in health facilities, for protecting health workers, visitors and the community.
“We hope that this project will strengthen the capacities of health personnel and measures for monitoring and controlling the risks of the intra-hospital transmission of Covid-19, which can occur due to the lack of quality water, sanitation and hygiene,” said Antonietti.
Providing protective equipment for health personnel
The regional governor of Ancash, Manuel Morillo Ulloa, received the Swiss ambassador, Markus-Alexander Antonietti, and thanked the Swiss government for its commitment and support for strengthening the activities for tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.
He welcomed the donation of a large consignment of protective equipment for health centre staff, as part of the support provided by Swiss Cooperation (SDC) in partnership with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) and the World Food Programme (WFP).
“The equipment will be for health centres on the front line of care against the coronavirus. In addition, thanks to the agreement with PAHO and WFP, the coastal and Andean areas of Ancash will soon have molecular laboratories to deal efficiently with COVID-19,” said Morillo Ulloa.
The representative of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Edgardo Nepo Linares, expressed PAHO’s satisfaction in contributing to the work of health personnel in Ancash. He said that the supplies would be made available to the health centres, together with 40 thousand molecular test kits acquired under the agreement.
The protective equipment consisted of 42, 600 units of nitrile gloves, 21,300 masks and 9900 gowns. They were stored in the Regional Health Department warehouse and will be available for the region’s health networks and hospitals.
Contribution of the Glaciers+ Project and prospects for new initiatives
The visitors went on to meet representatives of the National Water Authority’s Glaciology and Hydrology Unit and the National Institute for Research on Glaciers and Mountain Ecosystems (INAIGEM).
In the meetings the participants discussed the progress of the work of their institutions, and renewed their commitments to work on adaptation to climate change and risk reduction in glacial basins.
In 2012, Swiss Cooperation implemented its Glaciers+ Project in Ancash (Blanca mountain range) and in Cusco (Vilcanota mountain range). In 2019, the second phase of this project was completed with its extension to Lima (Central mountain range). Both institutions were key allies for the project’s activities.
Links of interest:
For further information:
Brochure Program for Disaster Risk Reduction and Humanitarian Aid
Fact sheet Swiss Embassy Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Peru
Fact sheet SDC Rapid Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Humanitarian Assistance in Peru. FS-PE. Aug.2020
Fact sheet Regional Hub for Disaster Risk Reduction and Rapid Response in the Andean region