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Despite a decade of impressive economic growth and democratic progress, many Peruvians—particularly outside of the coastal urban areas—have yet to see tangible benefits from these advances.  Many feel that they receive few or inadequate basic services from the government and have not seen their incomes increase commensurate with the country’s growing economy.  This perceived disparity between the economic “boom” of the coastal areas and continued poverty in Peru’s mountain and jungle regions has, in some cases, fostered a sense of social, economic, and political exclusion.  To strengthen democracy and maintain trade-led economic growth, Peru must broaden economic opportunities and strengthen government capacity to provide social services in environmentally sensitive and coca-vulnerable areas.  Otherwise, illegal activity (e.g., drug trafficking and illegal logging/mining), environmental degradation, and conflicts (mostly related to natural resources, the extractive industries, and terrorism fueled by narcotics trafficking) might weaken Peru’s potential future economic growth and democratic consolidation.

The Mission’s Goal, as articulated in the Country Development Cooperation Strategy 2012-2016, is that Peru’s stability and democracy are strengthened through increased social and economic inclusion and reductions in illicit coca cultivation and the illegal exploitation of natural resources.

Given Peru’s development context, the challenges and opportunities it faces, and the evidence that supports potential success, USAID’s strategy focuses on realistic results within its manageable interest.  The Mission has prioritized three integrated Development Objectives (DOs):

DO-1:  Alternatives to illicit coca cultivation increased in targeted regions

Under DO-1, USAID will continue to work with the regional government of San Martín to consolidate these gains while seeking to replicate this model in Ucayali and the Upper Huallaga Valley in Huánuco, following programmed eradication.  USAID may engage in alternative development (AD) activities in other coca-growing regions where unique targets of opportunity for collaboration with the GOP, other USG agencies, or third parties present themselves.  USAID will also strongly encourage the GOP to adopt, finance, and replicate the proven “San Martín Model” throughout Peru.

DO-2:  Management and quality of public services improved in the Amazon Basin

Good governance is the operating system upon which sound economic and social development can be built.  Through DO-2, USAID will focus on improving governance and social inclusion in the Peruvian Amazon Basin so that regional and local governments can improve the management and quality of public services (including health and education) and better represent their constituents.  This should help increase local economic opportunities and reduce the tendency to rely on illicit and environmentally damaging livelihoods or to resort to social conflict.

DO-3:  Natural resources sustainably managed in the Amazon Basin and glacier highlands

DO-3 focuses on the forest and the glacier highlands, regions of environmentally critical, global importance.  USAID will spend approximately 80 percent of all environmental funding on forest-related sustainable landscapes and biodiversity programs in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.  The remaining 20 percent of environmental resources will go toward global climate change adaptation programming to address threats, including water management issues associated with glacier melt in the Andean regions of Piura, Ancash and Arequipa.

Geographic Focus: To achieve the CDCS Goal and Development Objectives, the Mission will prioritize the five Peruvian Amazon regions of San Martín, Ucayali, Amazonas, Loreto, and Madre de Dios.  These regions have become hubs for many of Peru’s illegal activities, including coca cultivation, narco-trafficking, and illegal logging and mining.  The three primary focus regions for assistance under DO-1 will be San Martín, Ucayali and, to some extent, areas within the Upper Huallaga Valley area of Huánuco.  DO-2 and DO-3 will provide assistance to all five of the regions of the Peruvian Amazon, with DO-3 focusing on areas with high forest concentration.

In addition to the three Development Objectives outlined above, the Mission also implements activities related to several focus issues, including:


Trafficking in Persons

Illegal Gold Mining

Small Grant Assistance to Local Communities

Last updated: August 18, 2014

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