I am writing to let you know about the alarming situation in Peru right now. There has not been a lot of press about the torrential flooding in Peru due to an unusual El Niño storm that has been pummeling the country for several days and is predicted to last for another two weeks.
More than 80 people have been killed and 110,000 displaced. Whole villages have been washed away and many roads have been destroyed. We are in touch with our staff who are experiencing what everyone in the country is going through — even in Lima there is sporadic electricity and no running water. This is the worst natural disaster Peru has faced in 50 years. Peru’s First Vice President, Mr. Martin Viscarra, has announced that the reconstruction of the country is going to take years.
Unfortunately, World Neighbors is no stranger to this kind of emergency. We know, through our work around the world, that the recovery effort once the rains stop will be very difficult. Preventing the spread of disease, securing immediate food and reconstructing housing for the communities will be our first priorities. World Neighbors’ staff is keeping us abreast of the status of all the communities and thankfully, everyone is alive and safe.
In 2015, I had the opportunity to visit the villages that we work with in the Ayacucho region of the Andes in Peru. I witnessed thriving communities with lush crops growing on the mountainsides with sophisticated contour farming techniques. The farmers proudly showed me the many varieties of vegetables, grains and fruit that they grow high up in the mountains. They also showed me their livestock, organic compost and irrigation systems. Much of this hard work has been destroyed. As soon as possible, we will be there to help in the reconstruction and recovery efforts.
With your help, we will execute a plan which addresses the immediate needs of our program partners while laying the groundwork to help them return to the successful work they were doing to lift themselves out of hunger, poverty and disease. Thank you for your ongoing help!
With deep gratitude,
Kate Schecter, Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
May Ayers Milburn Chair
World Neighbors, Inc.
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