An update on our Field Partners in Peru following El Niño floods

Since the beginning of March, heavy rains in coastal regions of Northern Peru and in the Lima area have caused severe floodings leaving more than 90 people dead, 347 injured and 120,000 more homeless. This natural disaster is a consequence of El Niño, a climatic phenomenon that happens periodically and stems from the Pacific waters warming up and potentially having catastrophic consequences on coastal and mountainous regions of both Peru and Ecuador.

“Huaicos” (Quechua for ravine), a terminology used when landslides and massive floodings occur, have struck La Libertad, Lambayeque, Tumbes, Piura, Ancash and Lima regions and heavy rains are predicted to last up until the first few weeks of April. While the government, volunteers and other Latin American countries are rushing to help isolated populations who are lacking water, clothes and shelters, the country’s infrastructure has been completely devastated. More than 800km of roads have been swallowed up by the force of overflowing rivers and more than 114,000 homes have been destroyed. It’s also estimated that more than 9,000 hectares of farming land have been flooded leaving banana farmers in Northern Peru with no means to export their harvest and no income to dispose of in the upcoming weeks. 

Kiva has 8 Field Partners in Peru located on both the coast and in the Andean regions. The Andes were relatively unscathed with Asociación Arariwa, APTN and Fondesurco having to deal with minimal damages to their portfolio and clients. On the other hand Cooperativa Norandino, Fairtrasa International, Edpyme Alternativa and EDAPROSPO had many clients, families and businesses affected. Novica reports that their Peruvian artisans are safe, but many have been dramatically affected by floods, with several workshops badly affected.

In the midst of the flooding, EDAPROSPO is trying to provide essential goods to approximately 500 clients located in the Huarochiri and Huaycan branches in eastern Lima where the road has literally disappeared. For Fairtrasa, the situation is worse as their small-scale farmers living around Trujillo and Piura have taken the brunt of the last few weeks torrential rains. Many have lost their homes, farm infrastructure and crops. Bridges and other local infrastructure have collapsed as well, making it impossible for remote farmers to export their products for the foreseeable future. Edpyme Alternativa which is based out of Chiclayo and serves many farmers in that area has also been hit hard; they’re still assessing the damages which will likely affect their clients’ livelihoods. Finally, Cooperativa Norandino in Jaen, mainly attending to smallholder, FairTrade and organic-certified farmers in the highlands of Peru, also had a small number of clients on the coast around the city of Piura who lost their entire crops.

It’s too soon for any of our Field Partners to give us exact figures or report which borrowers have been affected, but as Kiva learns more about the effect of El Niño on them and their Kiva borrowers, we’ll update lenders.

For lenders interested in supporting borrowers in Peru, check out these fundraising loans. Or, consider buying a product made by an artisan borrower at the Kiva Store, where for the next week, Novica will donate 5% of sales on products made by artisans in Peru to support relief efforts.

Update 3/31:  Socios en Salud (Partners in Health), a small Kiva partner, has been very active in setting up and sending medical brigades to the cities of Huarmey and Lima to attend to affected populations. If you're interested in supporting Socios en Salud's (Partners in Health) efforts to provide medical supplies to those affected, you can make a donation here.

About the author

Nicolas Lafaye

As a Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Nicolas is responsible for prospecting potential MFI partners and strengthening Kiva's presence in the region by conducting frequent due diligence visits. Nicolas joined Kiva in February 2010 after having spent two and a half years in Hong-Kong working for Societe Generale Corporate & Investment Bank as a Financial Controller for all support functions in the Asia-Pacific region. Before that, he spent a year in Vietnam working for the French NGO 'Enfants du Mekong' as an Auditor & Operational Controller supervising more than 200 educational programs and ensuring the NGO's expansion. Nicolas is based in Lima and is half Peruvian by his mother. He holds a Master'€™s Degree from Paris Dauphine University in International Affairs and speaks fluent French, English and Spanish.