Page last updated at 05:24 GMT, Friday, 24 August 2007 06:24 UK

Peru's PM rejects aid criticisms

Peru earthquake survivor
The city of Pisco was the worst hit by the disaster

Peru's Prime Minister Jorge del Castillo has denied that international aid for the earthquake disaster is not being used effectively.

Mr Del Castillo said that Peru had transported 12,000 tonnes of aid to the affected areas since the catastrophe, which killed more than 500 people.

He added that $38m (£19m) was destined for the victims, including more than 1,000 people who were injured.

Last week's earthquake left thousands homeless in Peru's Ica region.

A Peruvian polling company says that the approval rating for President Alan Garcia - who spent several days and nights in the affected areas - has doubled to 76%.

'Worst chaos'

As clear-up efforts take place, the production minister, Rafael Rey, said Peru's government had already set aside $100m (£50m) for reconstruction.

He said the economic sectors most affected included farming, wine production and textiles.

However the clean-up operation has been criticised by others.

Pedro Frutos, head of a team of Spanish firefighters that helped search for survivors, told the Associated Press news agency: "The chaos is among the worst I've seen, and I've been in nine earthquakes."

Moreover, Sergio Alvarez, a co-ordinator for Oxfam International, said government ministers with no expertise in disaster relief were being given important assignments they were not prepared for.

Meanwhile, one of Peru's top seismologists has suggested that the city of Pisco - which was the hardest hit by the earthquake - should be "moved" to a safe area with less potential earthquake activity.

On Monday, rescue teams called off the search for survivors in the areas worst hit by the disaster.

Quake survivors berate president
19 Aug 07 |  Americas
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In pictures: Peru quake aftermath
18 Aug 07 |  In Pictures
Engineers work to reconnect Peru
17 Aug 07 |  Technology
Peru quake: Eyewitness accounts
16 Aug 07 |  Have Your Say
Country profile: Peru
12 May 07 |  Country profiles
How earthquakes happen
01 Jun 09 |  Science & Environment

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