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News > Peru

Peru: Cusco Population Face Hunger Amid Pandemic

  • Villa Sol Naciente Association

    Villa Sol Naciente Association | Photo: Villa Sol Naciente Association

Published 11 June 2020

The 'Villa Sol Naciente' and 'Sol de Inca' neighborhoods in the Cusco region are starving.

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has hit the poorest regions of Peru hard, which, after the government's abandonment, are organizing to meet basic needs such as food.

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The 'Villa Sol Naciente' and 'Sol de Inca' neighborhoods in the Cusco region are starving. Most of them are independent workers who lost their jobs because of quarantine. However, through the collective organization, they manage every day to eat, making quotas of two soles (national currency) to get feed between 50 to 150 families.

With the advent of the pandemic, neighborhoods that already had a condition of poverty further impoverished. Hundreds of families needed to find in solidarity a way to survive using such simple strategies, but that says a lot about their reality when families decided to spread a white flag on their doors, an action that symbolizes hunger.

Before the appearance of COVID-19, Martina Gomez Chumpi, a neighbor of the 'Villa Sol Naciente,' sold food in Cusco. It was his only source of income to feed and educate his little daughter.

"We need support; we don't even have to eat. Since I stopped selling, I have nothing. That the authorities support us with food," pleads Gomez, while helping in a collective solidarity organization and the distribution of food in her neighborhood.

Another neighbor, Julian Ferro, faces an even more precarious situation. He lives in a rented room with walls that are about to fall.

"We need food. No one came to help us. They only come in election time and then forget about us poor people," he said, as he holds his tears.

Practicing solidarity and sharing what little they have has been the only alternative to survive.

Meanwhile, the government has been sharply criticized for not knowing how to respond to the needs of the poorest sectors and not reacting to the collapse of the health system.

On Thursday, Peru surpassed 6,000 deaths from COVID-19, making it the second most affected country in the region.

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