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AID workers for Plan International are set to help villagers in Peru whose crops and livestock have been wiped out by freezing weather.
Average temperatures of minus 20 degrees centigrade have killed hundreds of thousands of animals, with another week of cold forecast.
Global children’s charity Plan will distribute warm clothing and other supplies to some of the worst hit families around Cusco.
“Families in these areas are in a more vulnerable condition than usual – especially children and pregnant women,” says Plan’s programme manager in Cusco, Carlos Chevarria.
“Rural families have lost crops and livestock – roads have been blocked and basic communications affected.”
Three regions, Puno, Huancavelica and Arequipa, have declared a state of emergency prompting a 850-tonne government aid distribution.
The worst hit provinces in Cusco have seen two-and-a-half feet of snow, making roads impassable and cutting off power.
“Plan’s field staff has been informed that the level of children affected by the situation is under control,” says Mr Chevarria. “Children are staying at home and not attending classes for another week.”
Plan is liaising with government agencies ready to upscale intervention if necessary.
Across the border in Bolivia, heavy snowfall has left five people dead and blocked roads.
“Local and national government have already started distributing antibiotics, eye drops and other medication, but also food and livestock,” says Plan’s Oscar Antezana, in Bolivia.
For more information on Plan’s work or to make a donation call 0800 526 848 or visit www.plan-uk.org