by Staff Reporter

PALMA
THE first shipment of aid from the Balearic government to Peru left yesterday afternoon, as part of a humanitarian aid plane load organised by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation.

The Balearic aid was co-ordinated by Apotecaris Solidaris and consists of basic hygiene material. A second shipment of medicines will be sent within the next few days. This was announced by Fina Santiago, the Balearic minister of Social Affairs, Promotion and Immigration, after a meeting of the emergency committee set up to evaluate requests for aid and co-ordinate shipments.

Set up by the Balearic International Cooperation Agency (ACIB), it is the first time that the Balearic government, Palma city council and the Majorcan Solidarity and Co-operation Fund have worked together.

David Abril, the project director for ACIB, stressed the need for co-ordination in the management of aid in view of the chaotic situation in Peru.
He added that the situation would be evaluated continuously by people at the site of the disaster, to check on the ever-changing needs and to channel financial resources.

Santiago explained that non-governmental organisations had already started to send funds which had been collected through bank accounts opened for that purpose and underlined the importance of having funds to purchase aid materials in Peru, rather than transport them.

The Red Cross, Medicus Mundi, Unicef, Cáritas, Apotecaris Solidaris, the Trinitarians and the Missions Office have all approached the ACIB for aid, which will be distributed according to their requests, based on the needs they find in the area.

Santiago said that the 150'000 euros aid from the Balearic government will be distributed in two stages, one this month for immediate support, to cover the basic needs of the earthquake victims.

The second stage will be dedicated to reconstruction work, after projects submitted by each non-government organisation have been evaluated.
Santiago said that funds will be needed more than ever at that point, as the need for ongoing aid is often overlooked after the first impact of the catastrophe.

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