Situation in Numbers
814,829 Laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases (MoH, 30 September)
32,463 COVID-19 deaths (MoH, 30 September)
146 child deaths (MoH, 30 September)
Peru is the country with the highest COVID-19 mortality rate in the world, is the second most affected in the region and has the sixth highest number of cases in the world, with 814,829 confirmed cases and 32,463 deaths, including 146 children and adolescents, as of 30 September. With a population of 32 million and only 1,703 ICU available beds nationwide, the health system is struggling to cope with the situation.
In response to the pandemic, on 16 March the Government of Peru declared a national state of emergency, extended to 31 October, closed borders until October, and imposed a mandatory national quarantine that has been gradually lifted as of July.
These actions have been complemented by various health regulations, the “I Learn at Home” remote mass public education strategy, social protection measures and an economic stimulus package.
Nevertheless, the ILO reports a 10.5 per cent fall in the average actual income over the last year and predicts 1.5 million jobs lost by December, while the Central Reserve Bank of Peru predicts a 12.7 per cent GDP contraction for 2020. Government of Peru’s focus on the immediate socioeconomic response is not conducive to addressing structural challenges of the social protection system (UNICEF, September 2020), which increases the risks faced by the most vulnerable, especially women and girls, families living in poverty whose livelihoods have been impacted by the quarantine, indigenous communities with limited access to health services, and migrants and displaced people in overcrowded living conditions with limited local support networks.
UNICEF’s response strategy focuses on helping ensure children’s rights are fulfilled.
Since the start of the emergency, main results include:
• On UNICEF social media, information and messages on COVID-19 had an average reach of 17,311,748, and 430,386 engagements.
• Primary health service reopening benefitted 8,067 women, 4,292 girls and 3,272 boys, including 181 migrants.
• Multimedia pieces promoting breastfeeding had a reach of 10,809,079, 196,792 interactions.
• National Migration Authority provided orientation to 2,646 migrant children and their families in a vulnerable situation, and 152 children received protective migration status.
• Self-care workshops benefitted 206 teachers (154 women, 52 men) and 5 principals.
• Psychosocial support and prevention of violence videos as a part of the “I Learn at Home” remote mass public education strategy have been viewed 170,176 times.
• Hygiene kits benefitted 35,538 people, including 17,916 children and adolescents.
• Technical support with UNESCO, WB and the IADB led to the formal proposal of a school reopening protocol proposal to the Ministry of Education (MoE), which would benefit 6.7 million students in the public education system.
• 400 migrant and refugee households with children and adolescents (around 1,530 people) received a second monthly cash transfer (US 217), as well as information on access to services and guidance to promote remote school attendance.