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AmeriCares Sends Emergency Relief to Peru

  • August 23, 2007
  AmeriCares aid, having arrived by helicopter, is carried by hand to a remote village near Pisco, Peru. PHOTO: Hector Emmanuelli

AmeriCares sent an emergency airlift of medicines and supplies in response to the recent earthquake in Peru.  The more than 25,000 pounds of relief included antibiotics, rehydration solutions, blankets and gloves.  An AmeriCares relief team traveled to Peru to assess the situation in advance of the airlift and began distributing medicines and supplies once the shipment arrived.

“House after house, block after block is in ruins,” reported AmeriCares Program Manager Hector Emmanuelli, who was on the ground determining the extent of the damage and delivering the AmeriCares medicines.  “People are digging through rubble, trying to salvage any personal items they can.” 

Emmanuelli and his team helped stock some of the local hospitals in and around Pisco, a fishing port which was the hardest hit by the quake.  “Our aid has been immensely helpful in response to the health care needs here,” he said.

An 8.0 magnitude earthquake rocked Peru southeast of its capital, Lima on Wednesday evening.   According to the U.S. Geological Survey, multiple aftershocks ranging from magnitudes of 5.4 to 5.9 continued to be felt well after the initial earthquake.  Current reports indicate that more than 500 residents have been killed and over 1,000 people have been injured; an estimated four hospitals have been destroyed and nearly 40,000 families have been left homeless.

Twenty percent of the people in Peru live in extreme poverty and many do not have access to health care even in normal times.  AmeriCares has been working in Peru for 12 years, delivering critical relief to the people there through our trusted partner, Volunteers for Inter-American Development and Assistance (VIDA).