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Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Senapred visit areas affected by the fires in Valparaíso to learn about the humanitarian aid deployed by UN Chile

Thursday, February 29 2024

A delegation of representatives of the Government and agencies of the United Nations System (UN), headed by the Acting Foreign Affairs Minister, Gloria de la Fuente; the resident coordinator of the UN System, María José Torres; and the national director of Senapred, Álvaro Hormazábal; visited the localities of Quilpué and Viña del Mar, to follow up, in situ, the contributions that the UN is delivering to complement the response to the emergency caused by the fires in the area.

"We have made this visit to verify on the ground the functioning of the aid provided by the United Nations to the communities affected by the fires, and to assess their main needs," said the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs. "We value the contribution that multilateralism, through the support of different United Nations agencies, is making so that the people affected can move forward," she added.

For her part, the Resident Coordinator of the United Nations System stated that "global solidarity manifests itself in action. Today, after an exchange with communities and local actors in the most affected areas, we affirm our support through concrete actions". He added that, in close collaboration with the government of Chile, our agencies are working tirelessly to provide safe shelter, emergency food, emergency education support and mental health support to those who have lost everything," she added.

Among other initiatives, UNHCR has donated 48 Shelter Modular Units (RHUs), 105 family tents and 117 self-supporting tents, as well as 8,200 solar lamps and 2,160 thermal blankets. The delegation visited the installation of one of the RHUs in Viña del Mar, which will be used as a health care point; the rest of the donations will be assigned to various uses by SENAPRED.

The delegation also visited the Dr. Juan Carlos Baeza Bustos Health Center to talk with the Minister of Health, Ximena Aguilera, as well as authorities and the community of the sector about their health needs. Regarding this issue, the Ministry of Health prepared and is implementing a response plan with the support of the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization, in addition to providing technical support in mental health, sanitation and risk communication by training and providing backpacks with basic first aid equipment to the Emergency Medical Teams currently on the ground.

The delegation also visited a Point of Attention and Orientation (PAO), an initiative coordinated by the IOM, where comprehensive information and orientation was provided to the affected people. In addition, the agency has been providing support with temporary shelters and carrying out information-gathering exercises to identify the most urgent needs. In terms of donations, IOM has delivered to the Municipality of Quilpué 2,000 5-liter jerry cans of water, 1,200 food products, 1,450 hygiene items and 20 protective tarpaulins.