On 22 June 2018, the Peruvian government through its Council of Ministries issued the Supreme Decree N° 062-2018-PCM declaring 122 districts from the high Andean areas from nine departments in state of emergency due to the damages caused by frost, snowfall and heavy rains, causing negative effects on health, education, as well as in agriculture and livestock activities. The severe weather significantly increased the cases of pneumonia and respiratory diseases; 556 cases of pneumonia among children under 5 years have been reported, as well as 185 fatalities. This season’s frost arrived earlier than usual and has already affected almost 600,000 Peruvians in 11 regions of the country; the most affected,Puno and Cusco, both located in the Andes.
In some areas, mostly those above 3,800 meters above sea level, temperatures plummeted to – 15 °C (5 °F), causing deaths of children, elderly and animals. According to the Office of the Ombudsman, 15 schools were close as well as 02 health centers. 1,327 houses have been affected. As of August 03, 2018, in Puno, 133,864 people were affected by the cold snap, 25,391 animals have died and 1,698,265 were affected. There are 5,059 hectares of damaged crops.
This response is mobilized 7 weeks after the frost, owing to the slow onset nature of the emergency. Humanitarian needs manifested over the course of a few weeks.
Through a rapid response intervention, DIACONIA Peru in coordination with the Methodist Church of Peru will provide shelter, WASH and psychosocial support to 576 individuals affected by the cold snap.