The World Food Programme today appealed to international donors to urgently support aid efforts to the approximately 150,000 victims of last week’s earthquake in Peru.

WFP’s appeal came as the United Nations system launches a joint “flash” appeal and as WFP scales up its response. Under the appeal, WFP will be requesting US$6.1 million to feed 80,000 of the most vulnerable victims for 9 months. While about US$2 million of this will come from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund, WFP will have to appeal to donors for the remainder.

For us to be successful, we will have to count on the full support of the international community and we appeal to donors to respond as quickly as possible,” said WFP Country Director Guy Gauvreau.

We also appeal for donors to be generous. While this crisis may quickly disappear from the front pages of the newspapers, the tens of thousands of people affected by this catastrophe will live with the effects for many months to come.”

Until today, WFP has provided over 500 tonnes of mainly ready-to-eat food to the most affected. Included in these supplies is 9 tonnes of high protein biscuits that were airlifted from the agency’s sub-regional emergency logistics hub in neighbouring Ecuador. The aircraft was generously provided by the Government of Ecuador.

Under the UN “flash” appeal, WFP’s efforts will focus on preventing the deterioration of the nutritional condition of those affected, particularly children aged six to 24 months, women and other high-risk groups such as the elderly.

As well, WFP’s operations are aimed at supporting reconstruction efforts through Food-For-Work programs and helping to prevent further deterioration in the livelihoods of affected families, many of whom have lost almost everything.

Gauvreau said that despite earlier scattered scenes of chaos in the worst-affected provinces of Pisco and Ica, the situation appeared to be stabilizing. At the same time, he said road conditions while not perfect, were improving and increasing amounts of supplies were arriving in the quake zone.

Meanwhile, WFP’s procurement specialists have completed the purchase of nearly US$ 3 million in additional food supplies on behalf of the Peruvian Government.

WFP together with UNICEF will also support the Government with purchases of kitchen kits, stoves and weaning foods for 42 state child-care centers that were destroyed by the earthquake.

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