LIMA- The World Food Programme (WFP) in Peru recently carried out an assessment mission of the National Civil Defense Institute’s (INDECI) telecommunications emergency infrastructure, with the support of the Fast Information Technology and Telecommunications Emergency and Support Team (FITTEST), based in Dubai. This joint assessment was executed between the 11th and 31st of May 2014 by a team including Oscar Caleman and Roberto Salazar of FITTEST.
The objective of this mission was to assess the capabilities of INDECI. The assessment aimed to ensure a fast and suitable response to emergencies through emergency telecommunications in nine provinces of Peru: Lima, Arequipa, Puno, Piura, San Martin, Tacna, Moquegua, Ayacucho and Huancavelica. INDECI is the entity responsible for the preparation, response, and rehabilitation during emergencies under the Act of the National System for Disaster and Risk Management (SINAGERD).
The Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of Health, the Peruvian Red Cross, the Peruvian Ham Radio Club (Radio Club Peruano), the Joint Command Armed Forces, and other UN agencies, took part in the mission. The international experience of WFP and in particular FITTEST’s experience in the realm of telecommunications in other regions of the world allowed them to analyze, evaluate, and assess the current situation of the country in this matter. With this joint assessment, the major obstacles and gaps were identified in order to provide a better suited and faster response during emergencies. It is worth noting that organizations involved have their own pre-established communication lines and in the event of an emergency, they must improve cooperation between them.
The results of the mission were presented to the Chief of INDECI, representatives of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the Ministry of Health, the Peruvian Red Cross, participating UN agencies and international donors. The mission concluded that the current emergency telecommunications system needs to be strengthened in order to fulfill its role and guarantee a fully-fledged response in the event of a major emergency in Peru.
The mission was highly appreciated by INDECI, the international cooperation, and participating institutions, who regarded this as the first mission of its type and of the utmost usefulness in the improvement of emergency telecommunications in Peru.