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Chile Earthquake: Follow-up 29 April 2010

After some days without strong aftershocks, a 6.2 magnitude earthquake awoke Concepción early this morning causing outages in six communities of this city. This one-minute-aftershock revived the population's fear. Meanwhile,  the SOS emergency relief programmes continue supporting the most deprived families.

Participants of the SOS Emergency Relief Programme of Concepción, Chile earthquakeThe emergency programme established in Concepción now supports 770 children on a daily basis. This programme not only helps 280 families in total by providing food, clothing, and basic hygiene products, but also offers emotional support. Work related to organise and facilitate community participation, social development and children's rights protection is also carried out in five areas. 80 families from these areas have also been provided with psychosocial support .

During the past weeks, some children have returned to school. This allowed moving some of the SOS emergency relief programmes to locally rooted organisations and SOS family strengthening programmes. This is the case of Bautista church in the sector of Lorenzo Arenas and the Board of Neighbours "5" in the sector Pedro del Río. Other programmes, such as "Agüita de la Perdiz" and the "Jardín Laboral Millary Cerro La Pólvora" were taken over by the SOS Family Strengthening Programme of Concepción to continue reaching out to the most vulnerable families.

The second phase of the emergency relief programme in Chile has started. The empowerment of local communities is the core aim of this phase. Thus, communities can take the responsibility for these programmes. 650 children are still being helped, but turning these programmes in self-sustainable development projects through the active participation of the community is our ultimate goal. Transition or exit strategies of the SOS emergency relief programmes will be established based on children's needs, the international relief support, the available financial support, the local context and the local solutions.

Objectives of the second phase of the emergency relief programme:


•    To continue the emergency relief programme in communities where the need of support is still given
•    To implement social services and psychosocial support programmes for children and families in the targeted communities.
•    To establish networks that help improve the quality of child care in the communities.

Social situation in Concepción

A big migratory flux from Concepción to other cities has been observed. People have to search for new opportunities to carry on. Due to bankruptcy of a big number of companies and the destruction of shops in the "VIII Region", many employees have been laid off under the legal criteria of superior force. They had to return to their homes jobless and without any compensation in their pockets, and, in many cases, without a place to live.