Peru still carries deep scars from the floods that affected much of the territory at the beginning of the year. With 66,000 homes destroyed, almost 300,000 homeless and 1.6 million people affected. The Public infrastructure was very affected in 24 of 26 regions of the country, which represents a slow recovery since essential services for the nation were affected.
In some North Coast areas where families mainly live of agriculture, suffer not just the loss of their harvest, but in many cases, they had a completely lost of their belongings. In the departments of Lambayeque and Piura almost the total population were affected, rural or urban, it stated that there are not enough resources to buy basic products such as food. Instead, lots of urban families whom before the storm many of these families supported themselves with their own crops, they had to buy food because of the rain they lost all their crops. Approximately 375,000 people don’t have access to any economic resources for their family support or to repair or reconstruct their houses.
Some organizations and institutions are creating specific projects to help and close this gaps through the distribution of food, kitchen and tool kits to fix houses, trying to reach the most isolated populated centres of basic services.
This context in which the cash transfer program (CTP) of the Peruvian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) is implemented, which seeks to help those communities that don’t have enough means to stay in the long term, giving them the ability to buy what they need most. The program will transfer an amount, corresponding to the amount necessary to cover the basic basket for one month, in two deliveries to families affected by the rains. The cash transfer program is innovative because it restores dignity to families affected by this year’s emergency, giving them the possibility of not only participating but being an active part of their own change. “For many people to have cash for the first time since the disaster means, having the possibility to satisfy unmet needs and turning intent into achievement. This empowerment provides economic and psychological support, “said Christina Eyre, delegate of the IFRC’s cash transfer program.
Prior the transfer, the CRP and IFRC teams evaluated which communities were still without livelihoods and remained without assistance in the departments of Piura, La Libertad and Lambayeque. Through interviews with community’s representatives and surveys of affected families, the population priority needs were identified. As a result, it was found that the greatest concern of most people is the lack of money to buy basic goods for family support. The people interviewed don’t have savings, they spent what they had on emergency. Those who have other sources of income likewise it became insufficient to meet the needs of an entire family. That’s why, most families plan to use the funds to cover necessities such as food, home repair materials and other family expenses that are still an impediment for a total recovery.
The CRP and IFRC will make meetings with community’s representative and people receiving aids, to give a detailed explanation of the program objectives and its implementation.
This cash aid has a very simple withdrawal mode: people who have received help can go with their identification document to the authorized bank. In case of technical problems, they can also go to a telephone line that will respond to complaints and doubts 24 hours a day.
Many studies have found that programs like this have the adaptability to be used in different contexts and humanitarian aid help phases. The cash aid program has proven to be highly successful, given that the person receiving the help has the freedom to use the money on what they really need. Neither the Red Cross nor other organization defines the needs, it is the individual, is the family who knows best where their main concerns are. Christina explains other features of the program: “The impact of cash transfer is never isolated. Local markets and service providers, as well as the economy in general, benefit from the greater purchasing power of communities. Given the low cost of CTPs relative to other types of interventions, their emergence as a powerful device in the humanitarian toolkit is not surprising.”