Peru

International community assists Peru after intense cold and snowstorms

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News and Press Release
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IHA/933
NEW YORK, 4 August (OCHA) - The international community is channelling $123,500 to southern and central Peru, following severe cold and snowstorms there. The funds -- donated by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), Norway and Denmark -- will be used to provide clothing and boots for 4,000 children in the departments of Puno and Apurimac.

The situation remains dire in the region, with the number of people hit by the conditions having risen to almost 340,000. Additionally, according to the Government of Peru, 90 people have died, and over 3,400 houses have been destroyed. There have also been severe losses in cattle, the main source of food, and some 647,000 hectares of crops have been ruined or damaged. Access to the affected areas continues to be difficult because of impassable roads.

For its part, the Peruvian Government has begun providing food, blankets, plastic rolls, tents and clothing to the affected population. Health brigades have also been deployed, to provide on-site medical care in the rural communities and conduct epidemiological monitoring. Thus far, among children in Apurimac, the brigades have reported 357 cases of severe infectious respiratory disease.

Additional international support has come from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO), which have helped provide the health brigades with 4,200 medicine kits, and the World Food Programme (WFP), which has allocated $175,000 and is supplying 52 metric tonnes of food to 3,500 people, to be used over 60 days.

The UNICEF has also sent 2,000 blankets and pieces of warm clothing for children under the age of one, placed 500 articles of heavy clothing in its office in Apurimac, and organized a stockpile of 2,500 pneumonia treatments in Lima. And the in-country United Nations Disaster Management Team is helping the Peruvian Government prepare for a donor's round table to be held next week.

For further information, please call: Stephanie Bunker, OCHA New York, tel.: 917 367 5126, mobile: 917 892 1679; or Elizabeth Byrs, OCHA Geneva, tel.: 41 22 917 2653, mobile: 41(0) 79 473 4570.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
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