Peru: Extreme cold and snowfall Early Action Protocol summary

Situation Report
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The IFRC’s Programme and Operations Division has approved the Early Action Protocol (EAP) for Peru: Extreme cold and snowfall with a timeframe of 5 years and a budget of CHF 249,743; consisting of CHF 142,267 for readiness and pre-positioning and CHF 106,978 for early action.

The EAP shall be funded from the IFRC’s Forecast-based Action Fund (by the DREF), from which allocations shall be drawn on annual basis to cover readiness and pre-positioning cost, and as a one-off upon trigger to implement early actions.


Peru, exposed to multiple hazards, ranks among the most disaster- prone countries in the Southern Andes. Within the country, cold waves and snowfalls are the third most frequent hazard, causing health problems for the vulnerable population and severe losses and damages to livelihoods. In general, the temperature starts dropping in Peru in April and extreme low temperatures occur between June and August. Disasters can occur due to isolated events of cold or snowfall; however, these are generally produced when both extreme cold and snowfall coincide.

In order to reduce the impact of these extreme events of cold waves/snowfall on the population, the Peruvian Red Cross (PRC) has developed this Early Action Protocol using the Forecast-based Financing (FbF) approach. The EAP foresees a timely and effective implementation of early actions as soon as weather forecasts combined with other risk data indicate a high probability of a cold wave/snowfall event that will severely affect people, their assets and/or their livelihoods.

The population most affected by cold waves and snowfall lives in the High Andes. The part of the population that lives 3,600 meters above sea level is economically dependent on agriculture and livestock farming, while the population that resides 4,000 meters above sea level and higher depends entirely on alpaca farming. Access to areas of cultivation and pastures is crucial for these Andean families as it determines the success of their livelihoods.

The scarce possibility of diversifying their livelihoods makes these families even more vulnerable to extreme weather events. In years of extreme events of cold waves and snowfalls, alpaca herders can have 20 per cent of their herd die while up to 27 per cent fall ill.

In terms of people’s health, cold waves and snowfall increase the frequency of acute respiratory infections (ARIs) and pneumonia. The main risk groups for these illnesses are children under the age of five, the elderly, pregnantwomen and people with chronic (diabetes and high blood pressure) and infectious (tuberculosis) diseases. In order to reduce these impacts, the EAP foresees early actions in the livelihoods and basic needs, shelter and health areas of focus.

This EAP is focused on cold waves and snowfalls that tend to occur in the southern Andean region of Peru during the winter months (between May and October). The early actions will be activated based on five-day climate forecast, which will give the Peruvian Red Cross a period of four days to act before the start of an extreme climate event. Actions have been selected considering this preparation time. The climate forecasts come from Peru’s National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (SENAMHI) with which the PRC team continuously works to improve the estimated lead time to activate the EAP.