ADRA Peru project to benefit 160,000

Silver Spring, Maryland -- In early April, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA) began a five-year development project that will benefit more than 160,000 people in Peru during 2002, the first fiscal year. ADRA Peru's Andean Program for Integrated Food Security Development will address food security issues in seven economic areas of Peru.
A major part of the multi-faceted project will focus on access to food, better utilization of food, and increasing the availability of food. Food access will be improved by encouraging rural farmers to grow traditional and selected nontraditional crops with strong market demand. Food utilization strategies will support and strengthen community based primary health care services that allow children to fully benefit from the food consumed, including hygiene practices that minimize the possibility of illnesses. Teaching techniques such as irrigation that increase agricultural production among farmers will impact availability of food. In addition, technical assistance will be provided to women to encourage cultivation of household gardens to supplement the family diet.

In addition to food elements, this project includes income-generation and health activities as part of its integrated plan. In the Agricultural Income Generation Program, ADRA Peru will organize commercial networks for agricultural products with strong market potential to increase agriculture-based incomes. In its Infant Nutrition Program, ADRA Peru will provide health and nutritional information relating to children under age three and pregnant and lactating women.

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is funding this project. ADRA was present when John R. Hamilton, US Ambassador to Peru, joined Dr. Diego Garcia Sayan, Secretary of Foreign Affairs for Peru, in signing the Agreement of Food Aid, by which USAID will donate approximately 95,350 metric tons of food (valued at USD $35 million) to be distributed by ADRA and other non-governmental organizations during 2002.

ADRA Peru has implemented relief and development programs in Peru for the past 35 years. With its widespread national infrastructure and strong technical capacity, ADRA Peru has developed efficient systems to monitor activity results at the household/community, regional, and national levels. Since late June 2001, ADRA Peru has been actively participating in the recovery efforts following the strong earthquakes that struck Arequipa. Other long-term development projects throughout Peru have focused on health, nutrition, children and teens living in high-risk conditions, agriculture, infrastructure, forestation and reforestation, and food-for-work programs.

Bordered by Chile, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, and the Pacific Ocean, Peru is the third largest country in South America. It includes the high Andes Mountains and the tropical lowlands of the Amazon Basin. Only about three percent of the land is suitable for farming. Most of Peru's 27 million people live in the western part of the country.