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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 October, 2004, 16:37 GMT 17:37 UK
Peruvians face hunger, UN warns
Peruvian women prepare a meal with guinea pigs (file photo)
Many people in the Puno region are getting around half the food they need
More than 60,000 people in southern Peru are relying on food aid after freezing weather conditions destroyed harvests, the UN says.

The World Food Programme (WFP) says many people in the mountainous southern region of Puno are getting only half of the food they need each day.

It says it urgently needs $1.7m to be able to keep providing emergency food rations for the next six months.

Severe snow storms in June destroyed the bulk of the area's cereal crops.

Malnutrition

The snow storms and severe frost in Peru's Andean mountain were the worst recorded in three decades.

Many of the households' animals died during the severe weather, either killed by a lack of food or the cold.

The WFP's Simon Pluess, in Geneva, says people who live in the region were already vulnerable to hunger even before the cold hit.

Last year, a WFP study found that up to 91% of children under age five in Puno were suffering from malnutrition. The area also has been struck by drought and floods.

More than half of Peru's population live with below the poverty line and some 6.5 million people, 25% of the population, are classified as extremely poor, living on an income of less than $1 per day.


SEE ALSO:
Children die in Peruvian freeze
25 Jul 04  |  Americas
Andes drought leaves Lima thirsty
09 May 04  |  Americas
Country profile: Peru
06 May 04  |  Country profiles


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