As of June 8, 2020 Peru has registered over 203,736 positive COVID-19 cases and 5,738 deaths. While Peru has been hailed as the most responsive country in Latin America to the crisis due to its testing and lockdown, sadly Peru’s per capita casualties and fatalities are among the highest. In spite of Peru’s increase in per capita GDP over the past 30 years, the fragility of that growth is being displayed among the 60% of the population that still works in the informal economy. For the majority of Peruvians social distancing is not an option. They must go out of their modest lodgings to earn enough money to pay for food and keep their home. As a result, the crowded streets and markets are a breeding ground for the virus to spread.The young single impoverished mothers are perhaps the most vulnerable. Most have lost their meager daily wages due to the lockdown. As a result, they and their children have no shelter and our facing hunger. The plight of these women is demonstrated by the 170,000 homeless now living on the streets in Lima and the mass exodus from Lima to rural areas. Peruvians are sleeping in the streets waiting for a solution. Many of the clusters are near airports and squares in makeshift shelters they lack the basic hygiene to prevent the virus. Also, crowding is frequent in the campsites, so it is hard to comply with social isolation measures.
Faced with this crisis, caravans of thousands of people are trekking on the highways carrying their little ones and all of their belongings trying to make it back to their remote towns of the Andes, Amazon and desert coast where they can find shelter and food. Sadly, plagued by extreme poverty and devastating natural disasters, these towns lack the resources to assist them when they arrive and the travelers are often the source of new outbreaks in these remote regions. All of these issues raise the need to help build the healthcare infrastructure. To that end, VIDA has shipped 8 containers carrying 200 plus ICU hospital beds, 50 plus stretchers, exam tables along with hundreds of walkers and thousands of crutches as well as thousands of boxes of medical supplies including PPE and respiratory equipment and supplies to combat the virus.
A major cost in this project is the ocean freight from Oakland to Callao. GlobalGiving donors play an important role in making these shipments possible. We hope you can join us in our mission to bring aid to Peru’s most vulnerable communities.
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