For the first time in 2 years, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) deployed a team from the Rapid Intervention and Support Group (Grupo de Intervención y Apoyo Rápido, GIAR) to respond to an emergency in the Latin America and Caribbean region, based on coordination with the National Humanitarian Network and partners in Peru. On Wednesday, March 15th, two GIAR members, Silvia Passuni and Kenneth Peralta, arrived in the north of the country with the main objective of supporting local governments in the Damage and Needs Assessment (EDAN) in the regions of Piura, Lambayeque, and La Libertad. Based on the EDAN, the distribution of humanitarian aid in the country is defined.
|About the El GIAR|
The GIAR is the SDC’s rapid response instrument in Latin America and the Caribbean with the mandate to improve the response of Swiss humanitarian interventions in the region. The GIAR was created in 2006, and is a unique mechanism of Swiss Humanitarian Aid, justified by the high levels of risk in the region.
· Members of the GIAR: staff from Swiss Cooperation Offices and Embassies in the region (25 people highly trained in the humanitarian field: management, logistics-administration, and specialised technical work).
· Management: GIAR is managed by the Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Rapid Response Programme, located at the SDC Regional Hub in Lima, Peru.
· GIAR’s added value: immediate availability and presence on the continent, knowledge of local culture and institutions, cost-effectiveness.
· Rapid results: Information management, assessments, technical advice and support, coordination support, network coordination, integration.
The National Civil Defence Institute (Instituto Nacional de Defensa Civil, INDECI) has identified the EDAN process as the main bottleneck for providing humanitarian assistance, as many local governments do not have trained personnel or sufficient human resources to carry out this assessment. In coordination with Save the Children and Ayuda en Acción, local governments were supported in this task. The SDC has mobilised evaluators trained by regional governments who, on a voluntary basis, are carrying out, in coordination with the regional governments and the National Humanitarian Network, the evaluations in the identified areas.
In addition to this activity, and in response to the request of the Ministry of Agrarian Development and Irrigation, the SDC donated nine motor pumps to the three regional governments to deal with the emergency and evacuate water from flooded areas. The Regional Governments thanked Switzerland for its rapid, localized and effective support in responding to the emergency.
The activities carried out by the GIAR team are aligned with the three pillars of the SDC’s Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Rapid Response Programme vision, which are strengthening disaster risk governance (Pillar 1), preparedness of partners (Pillar 2), and rapid response in case of a natural disaster (Pillar 3).
Based on the results of the EDAN and sectoral assessments driven by the National Humanitarian Network, SDC’s Regional Disaster Risk Reduction and Rapid Response Programme will define further recovery and rehabilitation actions in the affected areas.
By the end of February, a low-pressure system developed in the South Pacific about 500 kilometres off the Ecuadorian and Peruvian coasts. The main effect of this unusual “unorganised tropical cyclone” called Yaku (Quechua for “water”) is a significant increase in rainfall. From March 10th, extreme rainfall occurred on the northern and central coast of Peru, particularly in the regions of Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash, and Lima. The impact of the rains was devastating, and according to the National Meteorological and Hydrological Service of Peru (Servicio Nacional de Meteorología e Hidrología del Perú, Senamhi), in the regions of Lambayeque and La Libertad the historical record of accumulated precipitation in 24 hours has been surpassed with values not recorded since the extreme El Niño of 1998 and the coastal El Niño of 2017. The heavy rains, combined with the lack of drainage systems, generated significant flooding and the activation of dozens of mudflows in the country. State of emergency was declared in 716 districts (38% of the country).
FS GIAR (esp)