[USPG] The USPG is appealing for financial support to help fund desperately needed ongoing aid work, weeks after the devastating landslides and floods in Peru.
The disaster in March – which claimed 85 lives and destroyed or badly affected 28,000 homes – prompted an ongoing national emergency response. The Anglican Church in Peru is playing its part, with support from USPG’s Rapid Response Fund. A few months on, initial relief efforts of many agencies have ended but long-term solutions have yet to be put in place. There are still major gaps, and this is where the church is focusing its efforts.
Paul Tester of the Anglican Church in Peru, sent this report shortly after the disaster:
‘The video of the escape of a Peruvian woman from a mudslide has become an iconic image of hope in a battered country. The Anglican Church of Peru is now seeking to provide real incarnated hope by meeting the basic needs of vulnerable and neglected communities. The initial impact was felt around the country. The main focus for government agencies has been the initial relief effort. There is also some planning for long-term work to improve the lives of those affected and prepare for similar future events. The relief effort is hampered by damage to infrastructure – 159 bridges have collapsed and 1,900km of roads have been destroyed.
Initial relief efforts provided some temporary accommodation and water provision. Citizens and non-government agencies provided food and clothing. As this short-term help reduces, and while waiting for long-term solutions from local and national government, there is a clear need to help those most affected.
The Anglican Church has visited affected areas close to Lima, the capital of Peru, and found small communities of around 75 people that received initial help but are now left on their own. Their homes and businesses were either destroyed or severely damaged, with many losing most of their belongings. ‘The church has formed the “Help us to help others” commission to help meet these needs in communities without significant support from others. By providing tents, mattresses, cookers and pans, food and water, their needs are being met for a short one-to two-month period. We also aim to help children get back into school. At this very difficult time for Peru we are bringing hope to victims of this disaster. Thank you for your solidarity and support.’