Peace and Security- Alternative Development
Although Peru is one of the world’s largest coca cultivators and the top cocaine producer and exporter, the U.S. Government and the Government of Peru have had success in reducing illicit drug production in targeted regions. The USAID alternative development program undertakes economic development, agriculture, education, health, governance, and environment activities in communities that have eradicated coca and are committed to engaging in licit economic activities and living a life free of coca. USAID tailors its aid to the needs of each community, including the provision of assistance to produce and market alternative (licit) crops such as cacao, coffee, and palm oil. Since 2002, USAID has helped more than 50,000 families plant over 87,000 hectares of licit crops. In the San Martin region of Peru, the USAID alternative development program helped reduce the number of hectares of coca grown from 22,000 in 1996 to less than 2,000 in 2010 and poverty was reduced from 67% in 2001 to 31% in 2010.
Democracy and Governance
The provision of public services, particularly in poor and conflict-prone communities in the Peruvian Andes and Amazon regions, has not improved commensurate with Peru’s macro-economic growth. While decentralization of priority services, such as health and education, has been a central tenet of state reform over the last decade, it remains a work in progress. USAID focuses on improving governance and social inclusion in the Peruvian Amazon so that regional and local governments can improve the management and quality of public services and better represent their constituents. This increases local economic opportunities; reduces the tendency to engage in illicit and environmentally damaging livelihoods; and helps mitigate outbreaks of social conflict.
Home to 64.6 million hectares of tropical forest, Peru has the fourth-largest tract of tropical forests in the world. It is also home to 70 percent of the world’s tropical glaciers. USAID is committed to building the Peruvian Government’s capacity to manage and conserve its forest, mineral, and water resources. The focus of assistance is on the following interrelated issues: sustainable forest management, biodiversity conservation, and climate change mitigation and adaptation. USAID activities help Peruvians generate adequate income from environmentally responsible activities that encourage conservation efforts, a core element of USAID's approach to promoting sustainable natural resource management.
Last updated: May 10, 2013