Video from the Regional Exercise 2013 in Peru
Peru was the host and co-organiser together with OCHA as INSARAG Secreriat of the 2013 INSARAG regional earthquake response simulation exercise that took place from 1 to 4 October in Lima. The exercise was opened by Dr. Juan Jimenez, Prime Minister of Perú, the UN Resident Coordinator a.i. , Dr. Luis Fernando Leanes, as well as General Murgueytio, Head of the Peruvian Civil Protection (INDECI) and current I Vice-chair of the INSARAG Americas Regional Group. More than 260 participants, representing the entire Government structure in charge of emergency response in Peru, ie. the National Disaster Risk Management System, coordinated by the INDECI (Instituto nacional de defensa civil), 9 national USAR teams, the Humanitarian Country Team /Red Humanitaria Nacional; the UNDAC team and its partners in the region (Americas Support Team, Télécoms Sans Frontières, MapAction and White Helmets) as well as 13 USAR teams from the region and beyond gathered to put into practice activation protocols and coordination mechanisms at the national level as well as between the national system and the international actors, practising the implementation of the INSARAG guidelines and methodology as well as other key international guidance instruments, such as the IDRL Guidelines, OSOCC guidelines, as well as IASC guidance on multi-cluster/sector initial rapid assessments and coordination set ups. The Government put into practice its national emergency operations plan, USAR teams practiced the implementation all phases of an USAR response cycle, the Humanitarian Country Team put into practice its own activation protocols with the Government, the coordination, assessment and response planning phases as well as humanitarian resource mobilization mechanisms. The UNDAC team, with the help of its partners , coordinated the international USAR operation and established an On-Site Operations Coordination Center (OSOCC), ran the Reception and Departure Center, and supported the Humanitarian Country Team in the multi-cluster initial rapid assessment and coordination with national authorities. The exercise was an excellent opportunity for all participants to learn and exchange experience on the response coordination mechanisms put in place in response to an 8.6 magnitude earthquake affecting the capital of Lima and Callao, an area of 9 million inhabitants. The agenda allowed for a 1.5 day preparation of participants to get acquainted with national and international coordination mechanisms, and then simulated the first 8 days of the response compressed into 2 days of exercise. It is the third such regional exercise that took place in the Americas region and participants as well as the exercise control group observed a steady improvement of the capacity of respondents but also of the way the exercise is run. Lessons learned will feed into upcoming regional exercises.