ACT Appeal Peru: Assistance to Cold & Snow Storm Affected LAPE41 (Revision 1)

Originally published


Appeal Target: US$ 123,754

Balance Requested from ACT Alliance: US$ 122,254

Geneva, 17 August 2004

Dear Colleagues,

Cold waves and snowfalls have hit the Southern Andes of Peru since 25 June - the first week of July being the worst with the lowest temperatures and heaviest snowfalls. At the moment it is winter in Peru with the coldest months being June, July and August. However, this year temperatures have been very low since April and have descended as low as -9º centigrade most nights. In the areas above 4,000 metres, there is deep snow covering the pastures. The situation could worsen drastically as the coldest peaks of winter usually occur around August/September.

The inhabitants of the affected areas are poor peasants surviving from their llamas and alpacas herds and subsistence farming. They live in small communities in very precarious conditions - their dwellings are built of mud with thatched roofs. The extreme climate conditions have caused death and acute cold related illnesses among people. However, their most significant losses have been in livestock that is kept in the open land and that is their main source of survival. This disaster adds up to the flooding and drought that the area has experienced in the preceding months.

This revision is being made to accommodate the proposal by DIACONIA who propose to assist the most vulnerable affected population in Parinacochas in the department of Ayacucho. The assistance comprises building of animal shelters (sheds), veterinary medicines, seeds and capacity building. The proposals from Lutheran World Relief and PREDES remain unchanged as in the original appeal issued on 9 August.

Project completion dates:

Lutheran World Relief - 15 December 2004
PREDES - 15 December 2004
DIACONIA - 30 June 2005

Summary of Appeal Targets, Pledges/Contributions Received and Balance Requested

Targets in US$
Appeal Targets
Less: Pledges/ Contrib. Received
Balance Requested

Please kindly send your contributions to the following ACT bank account:

Account Number - 240-432629.60A (USD)
Account Name: ACT - Action by Churches Together
8, rue du Rhône
P.O. Box 2600
1211 Geneva 4
Swift address: UBSW CHZH12A

Please also inform the Finance Officer Jessie Kgoroeadira (direct tel. +4122/791.60.38, e-mail address of all pledges/contributions and transfers, including funds sent direct to the implementers, now that the Pledge Form is no longer attached to the Appeal.

We would appreciate being informed of any intent to submit applications for EU, USAID and/or other back donor funding and the subsequent results. We thank you in advance for your kind cooperation.

ACT Web Site address:

Thor-Arne Prois
Director, ACT Co-ordinating Office.


  • DIACONIA - Asociación Evangélica Luterana de Ayuda para el Desarrollo Comunal.


DIACONIA is a non-governmental development organisation, founded by the Lutheran Church in Peru. It began working in 1970 as the Community Development Department of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Peru, following the 1970 earthquake in Yungay (Ancash), and in 1983 it became an independent organisation duly recognised under Peruvian law. DIACONIA is registered in the Executive Secretariat of International Technical Co-operation of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, Resolution N°104-2000/PCM-SECTI-. Since 1994, DIACONIA has been carrying out rural integrated development projects in several of Peru’s Andean regions, and has accumulated a great deal of experience and a methodology of its own to help peasant communities. DIACONIA has developed two lines of action: one for rural development and to improve the quality of life of the high- Andean peasant families living in extreme poverty; and the other to improve the quality of education and of care in early childhood in rural areas.

Previous experience in emergency response

In the course of its work, DIACONIA has responded to different emergency situations in the departments of Ancash and Ayacucho, such as the floods caused by the El Niño Phenomenon, droughts, the cholera epidemic and huaycos (debris and rock flows) In 2001, DIACONIA helped in the emergency caused by the southern Peru earthquake, especially in the Ayacucho area.

During its emergency relief work, DIACONIA has developed actions for the construction and/or rehabilitation of houses, water systems, canals, and reservoirs, and also for supplying medicine, seeds, and tools, while at the same time carrying out training work so that the people affected by the event will be able to turn the emergency into an opportunity for development.

DIACONIA assumes the implementation of this emergency project with its own personnel in coordination with the local authorities and with the promoters of the Association of Alpaca Farmers of Parinacochas.


Current situation

According to reports from the Regional Government of Ayacucho and the Regional Agrarian Directorate, dated 21 July, the situation in the Department of Ayacucho can be summarised thus: 13,164 persons, 2,288 houses and 119,952 animals affected. 9,962 animals have died.

19 peasant communities in the province of Parinacochas, at an elevation of over 3,800 metres above sea level, are severely affected by the intense cold. Because of the precarious housing and lack of fuel (the families use animal dung for fuel, and this is buried under the snow), many persons, especially small children, have health problems such as broncho-pulmonary diseases and pneumonia. The Ministry of Health has taken responsibility for the health care of the affected population and the Government, through food aid projects, has partially met their feeding needs.

The greatest shock is to the livelihood of the families - most of whom live exclusively from raising livestock (sheep, alpacas, llamas). Traditional livestock-raising is extensive, and the animals graze on the open plains and feed on native grasses. During the cold wave, the land was covered for several days with snow, so the animals were unable to feed (camelids are not capable of finding food under snow) and combined with the cold, this caused the deaths of thousands of alpacas, llamas and sheep. The surviving animals are vulnerable to infectious and parasite-related diseases.

The peasants have no means of caring for their animals and they have no knowledge of prevention techniques, even basics such as sheds to protect the animals from the intense cold, and hay-making techniques that would enable them to store hay to feed their animals. It is important to mention that this year, besides heavy snow for several days, it has been a dry year and there is little grass available for the animals, not only in the high-lying areas but also in the lower parts.

Impact on human lives in the area of proposed response

Table No. 1: Number of affected persons: 2,759.
Families affected
Source of information: Regional Government of Ayacucho, Agrarian Agency of Parinacochas, and DIACONIA statistics.

Because of the intense cold, people have developed respiratory and broncho-pulmonary infections, especially the children. The greatest problem for the families is the loss of income due to the death of their livestock. In Parinacochas, an average of ten animals per family (alpacas, llamas, and sheep) have died. The remaining animals are in a state of extreme exhaustion and prone to diseases. It should be noted that the pregnant alpacas, because of the cold and lack of food, started to miscarry, which means that the recovery of the herds will take two to three years. Another important factor is the lack of food for the animals. Considering that the alpaca-farming families belong to the extremely poor living in vary precarious conditions, these losses are very significant to them and greatly affect their subsistence economy.

It should be mentioned that these alpaca-farming communities have no road access, and because of their remoteness they receive very little attention from either regional or provincial authorities.

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