The European Union assists 620 Peruvian families affected by the cold wave

In response to the damages caused by low temperatures in Peru, the European Commission, through its Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection department (ECHO) has allocated €127 200 to meet the most urgent needs of the affected families. The EU funds will be used to provide assistance to 620 families in the districts of Ananea, Quilcapunko, Sina and Putina, in the province of San Antonio de Putina. Aid will be distributed by the Peruvian Red Cross over a period of three months and will mainly consist of blankets, personal protection kits for farmers (UV-protection lenses, rubber boots and waterproof ponchos) which, besides helping against cold and humidity, will help to prevent and reduce conjunctivitis (pink eye) and respiratory infections.

This financial assistance is part of the global EU contribution to the Disaster Relief Emergency Fund (DREF) of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

According to the Peruvian Institute of Civil Defense, around 165 000 people have been affected in the departments of Apurimac, Ayacucho, Cusco, Huancavelica, Junín, Pasco, Puno y Tacna, around 100 people have lost their homes, 529 homes have been damaged and 11 have collapsed. Livestock has also been harmed, with more than 900 000 animals having died. Crops damages are also substantial. EU's aid will support the recovery of livelihoods and will enhance the immunity and resilience of livestock through the provision of veterinary products, vaccines, vitamins and antibiotics.

Peru has suffered the consequences of an atypical winter caused by the meteorological phenomenon, "El Niño," which is characterised by low temperatures, heavy snow, frost and hailstorms. Temperatures in the Andean regions located at an altitude of more than 3 500 metres above sea level have decreased below zero, dropping to as low as -15°C in some places, affecting people's health and basic services.