Nearly a third of Peru’s 29 million people live below the poverty line. In rural areas, where most people make a living from agriculture, that figure reaches 60 percent. Frequent natural disasters and the lack of services for agricultural production make it difficult for many to provide for themselves. FAO is helping disaster-affected families get back on their feet quickly, while strengthening their ability to withstand climate shocks in the future.
Restoring the fishing industry
In 2007, an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale ripped through the country, leaving hundreds of people dead, thousands of homes destroyed and basic services disrupted. Artisanal fishing communities along the coast were especially hard hit. FAO has worked to restore their livelihoods, while improving productivity and access to local and regional markets. It has sought to ensure compliance with international environmental, health and safety standards such as the construction of a 32-foot fishing boat prototype that is secure, stable and economically suitable for Peru.
Coping with extreme weather
Subsistence farmers and small herders living in the Peruvian highlands have to contend with extreme weather conditions – from floods and drought to frost and hailstorms – that can chip away at their ability to feed themselves and their families. Most do not have the resources to bounce back each time. FAO supports vulnerable farming families to maintain and increase production levels – from distributing tools to rehabilitate cropland and irrigation systems to providing quality seeds, fertilizers, greenhouse materials, poultry and technical assistance – so they can cover their basic needs.
Getting caught unaware by a natural disaster can really set a family back, especially one that relies on agriculture for its survival. In Peru, climate challenges are a constant reality, making the need for disaster risk reduction and management all the more pressing. FAO is helping rural communities and local authorities be better prepared to cope with different climate threats. It is expanding vulnerability mapping, identifying areas that are at risk as well as measures to be taken for various extreme events. It is setting up community-based risk management groups, strengthening monitoring activities and encouraging the integration of disaster risk reduction and management into local plans and budgets.