WV responds as winter cold kills 31 children in Peru
The coldest winter in 20 years has hit Peru, affecting a number of World Vision project areas.
According to the Civil Defence Institute, the cold wave over the south of Peru which has persisted since late June, has already affected over 6,000 families and 20,000 children across the region.
The most affected departments are Puno, Cusco, Ayacucho, Apurimac, Pasco and Tacna with temperatures reaching as low as -10C. According to the latest reports, 31 children have died from pneumonia.
Peru's Ministry of Agriculture reports that over 20,000 animals have perished and cultivation land has been lost. Over the last few days, the roads in these departments have also been affected by snow ? 50cm in some places ? which is impeding access to at least four communities. School attendance has been interrupted in some areas, as an increasing number of students are absent due to illnesses.
World Vision Area Development Programs (ADPs) in Cusco and Ayacucho have registered a number respiratory infections among children and some cases of pneumonia, particularly in communities located 4,000 metres above sea level. Animals and crops have also been seriously damaged.
World Vision has agreed to help local branches of the Ministry of Health extend health care to more remote communities. World Vision has also delivered medicines and hired additional doctors. The government is responding to the situation by delivering aid to those affected.
The World Vision projects say they still need clothing for one thousand children up to 12 years of age, blankets for 800 families, food and medicines to support the most affected.
"We expect to attend to the immediate needs of these people, but beyond that we need more resources to so we can offer long-term solutions, like better-protected schools, greenhouses, and improved kitchens, which may help poor people cope with extreme weather conditions," said Jose Luis Ochoa, World Vision Peru's Emergency Relief Coordinator.