A coastal El Niño, with a pattern titled “El Niño Costero” this year, has led to an abnormal amount of rainfall — 10 times more than normal — in Peru.1 The flooding is the worst flooding the South American country has experienced in decades.
Since December, more than 100 people have been killed and over 150,000 have been forced away from their homes.2 Medical and educational centers, crops, and more than 200,000 houses have been damaged as a result.3
The warmer waters off of the western coast of South America led to overflowing rivers, flooding, and mudslides in Peru. The water became 50 degrees warmer than the normal temperature. The amount of runoff is creating terrifying issues; for instance, cities have gone underwater, and towns and people were swept away by the water.4
When the floods hit, Peru planned to spend a minimum of $3.75 million to repair roads and bridges, according to the Central Bank. And as more rain was expected, the economic effects grew. The Peruvian Red Cross and the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies presented an emergency appeal for $4 million. This would go toward helping 50,000 people in northern Peru’s communities including Piura and La Libertad. On March 26, over 40 tons of relief items, including water and sanitation kits and kitchen kits, were sent to Lima from the IFRC. 5 But despite this aid, the need is much greater and supporting our artisan partners and their communities in Peru is imperative.
The Little Market works with several partners in Peru. Naguska is one of our artisan partners. Founded in 1997, Naguska works with artisans in Peru to create job opportunities for them and to preserve the cultural techniques practiced to create Peruvian handicrafts. The organization is increasingly working with female knitters in the rural areas of Puno and provides them with training and technical support through workshops. We also partner with artisans working with Manuela Ramos. Manuela Ramos’ goods are hand-knit by women working in Puno; they create beautiful accessories and stuffed animals. We are also expanding our reach in Peru and in communication with one other group for a future partnership.
After talking to a spokesperson in Peru, we learned that there are disasters throughout the country as a result of this terrifying event. The situation has become critical in many places; cities have become flooded, people have lost their homes, roads and bridges have been destroyed, food and water have become scarce, and crops have become destroyed. This makes it even more essential to create work in the areas that have been affected by the flooding.
The flooding has resulted in $3.1 billion in damages. President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski recently said reconstruction would cost around $9 billion. In the first phase, there would be “immediate reconstruction” of cities and towns, and in the second phase, infrastructure would be built in a proactive effort to make the nation more modern and more organized.6
Many woman have been displaced, and women in Peru who are part of the Global Fund for Women’s network of advisors and grantee partners are placing a special focus on the needs of these women to provide them with resources and to work toward reconstruction.7 Red Cross teams and volunteers are working to create epidemic and disease prevention and control measures and to help provide clean water and other essential supplies. The Peruvian government and the president are working alongside the Peruvian Red Cross for relief efforts and to help the residents of Peru.8
1 The Atlantic
2 Global Fund for Women
3 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and Peru This Week
4 Public Radio International
5 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
6 The Guardian
7 Global Fund for Women
8 International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies