Although Peru is not often thought of as a global center for malnutrition, this South American nation faces issues such as income inequality. This has created a population where 4.3% of Peruvians are living in extreme poverty, while the overall poverty rate stands at 22.7%.
As a result, anemia and malnutrition rates have remained high, especially amongst the children in Peru. About 5 million people live in a food insecure environment. Issues such as geography and climate may contribute to these factors, but the overall issue that must be addressed is the 44.7% rating on the Gini index in regards to income equality.
The 2014 GNI in Peru is $6,360. This makes it an upper-middle economy, but one that is struggling to survive whenever there are changes to the international commodity markets.
How the World Affects Malnutrition in Peru
Global commodity prices and industrial costs consisted of about 37% of Peru’s GDP in 2012. Services were at 55.8%. This helped the country be able to increases wages, jobs, and improve opportunities. It also meant that many of the programs lifting people out of poverty were government-sponsored.
When the market prices increased and there was a decrease in the pricing of exports that Peru shipped to the rest of the world, the support network for those services was removed. This caused a number of people to fall back into poverty, especially with a sharp decrease of 2.4% in economic growth in 2014 and no recovery in 2015.
Natural Disasters and Peru
Peru is a country that is fairly prone to experiencing natural disasters. Because the nation is rather mountainous, weather patterns can cause recurrent droughts and floods. The volcanic nature of their location on the Ring of Fire also makes the country prone to earthquakes. The El Nino pattern that warms the Pacific Ocean periodically alters anchovy populations, which affects economic opportunities as well.
Each factor can have up to a 5% impact on the economy of Peru. If the country should experience all three natural events in a single fiscal year, it could cause up to a 15% reduction in economic activity. This creates a lack of jobs, which creates a lack of resources, which helps to create higher levels of poverty.
Peru has been making many improvements, but they still have many challenges to face in order to stop malnutrition. With continued efforts and economic diversification, hunger can be eradicated once and for all.