UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
30 April 2012: Continuous heavy rains over the past few months have lead to widespread flooding in Loreto, Peru – a region located in the heart of the Peruvian rainforest. The heavy rains have caused the river water levels to rise and consequently overflow into surrounding areas. An estimated 52,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed in Loreto. As of 20 April, a reported 15,000 people are sheltered in tents, schools and other public structures and a total of 246,000 people in Loreto have been affected.
Livelihoods have been negatively impacted in the region with the loss of 50 per cent of crops in Loreto, according to Ministry of Agriculture estimates. Health conditions among the flood-affected have worsened with an increase in acute respiratory infections, acute diarrheal diseases and skin diseases. Humanitarian partners have expressed concern for the risk in a possible spike in malaria and dengue among the local population due to an abundance of stagnant water. Schooling has been disrupted for children in the region, with the flooding of 435 schools and conversion of some 40 schools into shelters for homeless families.
In response, the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) gave $2.2 million to three UN agencies and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) to support flood-affected people.
The UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) received $799,253 from CERF to fund five projects to help flood victims. In support of Ministry of Education efforts, funding will help re-establish primary education for 4,000 children and adolescents and help protect the nutritional status and emotional well-being of children under age 5 and pregnant women living in temporary shelters, provide psychosocial assistance to children and adolescents through set up of child-friendly spaces and enhancement of child protection monitoring and support activities to provide access to safe water and improve hygiene practices, among other activities.
The World Health Organization (WHO) received $536,830 to help improve access to safe water and proper sanitation for flood-affected people and help local authorities prevent or reduce the risk of disease outbreaks.
To re-establish the productive capacity of some 3,000 families, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) received $496,820 to ensure that targeted families are able to meet their basic food needs by diversifying household food sources and preparing land for the next agricultural season.
To support the provision of shelter, management of temporary housing sites and provision of nonfood items, IOM received $388,710 from the Fund.