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Peru Fights Back Against COVID but Deaths Still Surge

Peru has the highest rate of deaths per million people in Latin America. Since the beginning of the pandemic more than 1.8 million people were infected and more than 64 thousand people have died because of COVID 19 according to Health Minister data. The health system collapsed during the second wave of COVID and hovers above 90%.

During 2020, the Peruvian economy fell 11.1%, which represents the lowest rate in the last three decades, according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI). In addition, it is estimated that around 3 million people in Peru could fall into poverty and hunger, suffering the consequences of unemployment as a result of social isolation measures. Women are the most affected losing the highest number of jobs and facing extreme isolation and family pressures.

Also, the latest INEI report indicates that more than 370,000 girls, boys, and adolescents were forced to abandon their studies last year. Many of these students, mainly in rural areas, could not continue because they do not have information technology or internet access available in their homes.

Marilu Martens, CARE Peru Country Director comment:

“The crisis caused by COVID-19 in Peru has limited the access of many families to basic services such as the supply of drinking water, electricity, food, among others. The people who have been most affected are those who work in the informal sector, with women leading this sector. In Peru, the female concentration in informality – according to the Ministry of Labor and Employment Promotion figures (2019) – still amounts to 71.5% and is still higher than that of men (69.5%). Right now, thousands of women have lost their jobs and consider their livelihoods are more affected by the effects generated by the pandemic”.

The Peruvian Government has launched the National Vaccination Plan against coronavirus. It has signed four contracts with foreign laboratories and the COVAX Facility mechanism to acquire 60 million doses until end of the year; however, to date, only 5% of committed vaccines have arrived.

So far, more than 2 million people received the first dose of the COVID 19 vaccines and fully vaccinated people in the country only represent 2% of a total population of 32 million. Peruvian government officials have informed Venezuelan migrants living in the country they will have access to vaccines. Peru is the second receptive country of Venezuelan migrants according to UN agencies.


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Rachel Kent
Senior Press Officer

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