The floods caused by the coastal El Niño phenomenon between January and March 2017 left 1.9 million people affected in northern Peru, nearly a third of them children. Thousands of families lost their houses and sources of income, leaving many children in need of urgent assistance.
Since the onset of the emergency, UNICEF has provided humanitarian assistance in the sectors of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), Protection, Nutrition,
Health and Education, reaching over 193,000 people in the most affected districts of Piura, Lambayeque and La Libertad.
By the end of 2017, with partners, UNICEF had installed WASH facilities and distributed hygiene kits and other WASH supplies, benefiting nearly 47,000 people, including more than 20,000 children. In rural areas, UNICEF helped repair 15 water systems serving about 33,000 people.
Exposure to disaster as well as the deterioration of living conditions can affect significantly children's psychosocial well-being. In Peru, UNICEF worked with partners to conduct socio-emotional support activities reaching 5,852 children across affected communities, at least 1,113 prioritized cases were referred to specialized mental health services. UNICEF also helped provide national identity cards to 38,939 children to ensure they have access to public services.
UNICEF-supported education activities, including temporary classrooms, school kits, after-school support and teacher training, reached 5,712 students. UNICEF also helped track 19,109 students to identify out-0f-school children.
With a focus on pregnant women and children under the age of five, UNICEF scaled up its support to national authorities to ensure the provision of health and nutrition services in affected locations. UNICEF provided 90,000 sachets of therapeutic food to treat children at risk of malnutrition and 10,500 zinc tablets to treat severe diarrhoea in children under the age of five.
Situation in Numbers
628,244 children affected
1,927,721 people affected
65,950 collapsed/uninhabitable houses
380,106 affected houses
456 collapsed/uninhabitable schools
3,700 affected schools
347 collapsed/uninhabitable health facilities
1,156 affected health facilities (INDECI, 10 Nov 2017)
Situation Overview & Humanitarian Needs
In 2017, Peru was severely affected by the coastal El Niño phenomenon, triggered by unusually high ocean temperatures along the northern coasts of the South Pacific. The phenomenon produced heavy rains, causing rivers to overflow and floods in surrounding areas, mainly in northern Peru.
The coastal El Niño phenomenon affected more than half of Peru’s coastal areas, including Tumbes, Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Áncash, Lima and Ica regions; with Piura being the most affected. It also caused severe mud and landslides in Cajamarca, Ayacucho, Arequipa, Huancavelica, Junín and Loreto regions. Given that heavy rains are more frequent in these six regions, the damages were not as extreme as on the coast.
The floods affected a significant number of people, many of them lost their livelihoods. The affected population, located in urban and rural areas, lives in poverty and extreme poverty conditions, and therefore are even more vulnerable to these losses.
According to the National Civil Defence Institute (INDECI), as of 10 November 2017 the coastal El Niño phenomenon has affected 1,9 million people, with 30% of them living in Piura, 25% in La Libertad, 8% in Lambayeque, another 8% in Áncash, 4% in Lima and 4% in Tumbes. An estimated 628,244 children and adolescents are among the affected population, including 206,266 children under the age of five. INDECI also reports that 65,950 houses have collapsed or are uninhabitable, 380,106 houses have been affected, 456 schools have collapsed or are uninhabitable, 3,700 schools have been affected, 347 health centres have collapsed or are uninhabitable and 1,156 health centres have been affected.