U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
BACKGROUND NOTES: PERU
PUBLISHED BY THE BUREAU OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
NOVEMBER 1994

Official Name: Republic of Peru

PROFILE

Geography
Area:  28 million sq. km. (496,222 sq. mi.); three times larger than 
California.
Cities:  Capital--Lima/Callao metropolitan area (pop. 7 million, 1993).  
Other cities--Arequipa, Chiclayo, Cusco, Huancayo, Trujillo, Piura, 
Iquitos, Chimbote. 
Terrain:  Western coastal plains, central rugged mountains (Andes), 
eastern lowlands with tropical jungle forests.  Climate:  Coastal area, 
arid and mild; Andes, temperate to frigid; eastern lowlands, tropically 
warm and humid.

People
Nationality:  Noun and adjective--Peruvian(s).  
Population (1994 est.):  22.9 million 
(69% urban).  
Annual growth rate (1994 est.):  2.0%.  
Ethnic groups:  Indian 45%; mestizo 37%; Caucasians 15%; black, Asian, 
and other 3%.  
Religion:  Roman Catholic.  
Languages:  Spanish, Quechua, and Aymara.  
Education:  Years compulsory--11.  Literacy--About 98%.  
Health:  Infant mortality rate--52/1,000 Life expectancy--65 yrs.  
Work force:  8.4 million.  Agriculture--35%.  Industry--10%.  Mining--
12%.  Other services--27%.  Commerce--16%.

Government
Type:  Constitutional republic.  
Independence:  1821. 
Constitution:  December 1993.
Branches:  Executive--president, two vice presidents, Council of 
Ministers.  Legislative--unicameral Congress.  Judicial--Supreme Court 
and lower courts, Tribunal of Constitutional Guarantees (authorized 
under 1993 constitution but not yet established).
Administrative subdivisions:  12 regions, 24 departments, 1 
constitutional province.
Political parties:  Change 90/New Majority, Popular Action (AP), 
American Popular Revolutionary Alliance (APRA), Popular Christian Party 
(PPC), Democratic Left Movement (MDI).
Suffrage:  Universal over 18; compulsory until age 70 (members of the 
military may not vote).

Economy
GDP (1993):  $27.7 billion.  
Annual growth rate (1993):  6.5%.  
Per capita GDP (1993):  $1,207. 
Inflation rate (1993):  39.5%.
Natural resources:  Minerals, metals, petroleum, forests, and fish.
Agriculture (12% of GDP):  Products--coffee, cotton, cocoa, sugar, wool, 
corn, potatoes, and livestock products.
Industry (22% of GDP):  Types--mineral processing, oil refining, 
fishmeal, textile, food processing, light manufacturing, and automobile 
assembly.
Trade (1993):  Exports--$3.5 billion:  petroleum, copper, silver, gold, 
zinc, lead, fishmeal, coffee, sugar, cotton, canned and frozen fish.  
Major markets--U.S. (22%), EU, Japan.  Imports--$4 billion:  machinery, 
cereals, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum and mining equipment.  
Major suppliers--U.S. (26%), Andean Pact countries, Argentina, EU, and 
Japan.
Official exchange rate (soles per dollar, Aug. 1994):  2.22=U.S.$1.  


PEOPLE
Peru's ethnic structure is primarily made up of Indians, mestizos, and 
Caucasians. Some Peruvians also are of African descent, and Lima and 
other coastal cities have Chinese and Japanese communities.  Mestizos 
form a cultural bridge between the Hispanic-European and Indian 
societies.  Caucasians tend to be culturally homogeneous throughout the 
country, whereas the mestizos and Indians show greater cultural 
diversity.  Due to education, economic development, and the movement 
from rural to urban areas, however, a more homogeneous national culture 
is developing, especially in major cities.

Peru has two official languages--Spanish and the foremost indigenous 
language, Quechua.  Spanish is used by the government and the media, and 
in education and commerce.  Indians who live in the Andean highlands 
speak Quechua and Aymara and are ethnically distinct from Indians who 
live in the jungle and on the eastern side of the Andes.  The latter 
groups speak various languages and dialects.  Some of these tribes still 
live much as they have since prehistoric times, while others have been 
almost completely assimilated into the mestizo-Hispanic culture.

Education

Under the 1993 constitution, primary education is free and compulsory.  
The system is highly centralized, with the Minister of Education 
appointing all public school teachers.  Eighty-four percent of Peru's 
students attend public schools at all levels.  School enrollment has 
been rising sharply for years, due to a widening educational effort by 
the government and a growing school-age population.  Illiteracy is more 
than 70% in isolated, mountainous areas and is estimated at 28% in urban 
areas.  Elementary and secondary school enrollment is about 5 million.  
University enrollment is more than 250,000.

Culture

The relationship between Hispanic and Indian cultures determines much of 
the nation's cultural expression.  During pre-Columbian times, Peru was 
one of the major centers of artistic expression in America.  Pre-Inca 
cultures, such as Chavin, Paracas, Nazca, Chimu, and Tiahuanaco, 
developed high-quality pottery, textiles, and sculpture.  Drawing upon 
earlier cultures, the Incas continued to maintain these crafts but made 
even more impressive achievements in architecture.  The great fortress 
of Machu Picchu and the buildings at Cusco are excellent examples of 
Inca architectural design.

Peru has passed through various intellectual stages--from colonial 
Hispanic culture to European Romanticism after independence.  The early 
20th century brought indigenismo, expressed in a new awareness of Indian 
culture.  Since World War II, Peruvian writers, artists, and 
intellectuals have participated in worldwide intellectual and artistic 
movements, drawing especially on U.S. and European trends.

During the colonial period, Spanish baroque fused with the rich Inca 
tradition to produce mestizo or creole art.  The Peruvian (Cusco) school 
followed the Spanish baroque tradition with influence from the Italian, 
Flemish, and French schools.

Pancho Fierro made a distinctive contribution with his portrayals of 
typical events, manners, and customs of mid-19th century Peru.  
Francisco Lazo, forerunner of the indigenous school of painters, also 
achieved fame for his portraits, as did others.  Peru's 20th-century art 
is widely known for its extraordinary variety of styles and originality.  
In the 1930s, a group of Peruvian artists reacted against the 
limitations of the indigenous styles and adopted a more international 
style.  Peruvian sculpture has followed the same trend.


HISTORY

When the Spanish landed in 1531, Peru's territory was the nucleus of the 
highly developed Inca civilization.  Centered at Cusco, the Inca Empire 
extended over a vast region from northern Ecuador to central Chile.  In 
search of Inca wealth, the Spanish explorer Francisco Pizarro arrived in 
the territory after the Incas had fought a debilitating civil war and 
easily conquered the weakened people.  The Inca capital at Cusco had 
fallen by 1533, and the Spanish had consolidated control by 1542.  Gold 
and silver from the Andes enriched the conquerors, and Peru became the 
principal source of Spanish wealth and power in South America.

Pizarro founded Lima in 1535.  The viceroyalty established at Lima in 
1542 initially had jurisdiction over all of South America except 
Portuguese Brazil.  By the time of the wars of independence (1820-24), 
Lima had become the most distinguished and aristocratic colonial capital 
and the chief Spanish stronghold in America.

Peru's independence movement was led by Jose de San Martin of Argentina 
and Simon Bolivar of Venezuela.  San Martin proclaimed Peruvian 
independence from Spain on July 28, 1821.  Emancipation was completed in 
December 1824, when Gen. Antonio Jose de Sucre defeated the Spanish 
troops at Ayacucho, ending Spanish rule in South America.  Spain made 
futile attempts to regain its former colonies, but in 1879 it finally 
recognized Peru's independence.

After independence, Peru and its neighbors engaged in intermittent 
territorial disputes.  Chile's victory over Peru and Bolivia in the War 
of the Pacific (1879-83) resulted in a territorial settlement.  
Following a clash between Peru and Ecuador in 1941, the Rio Protocol--of 
which the United States is one of four guarantors--sought to establish 
the boundary between the two countries.  (Continuing boundary 
disagreement last led to a brief armed conflict in early 1981.)

The military has been prominent in Peruvian history.  Coups have 
repeatedly interrupted civilian constitutional government.  The most 
recent period of military rule (1968-80) began when Gen. Juan Velasco 
Alvarado overthrew elected President Fernando Belaunde Terry of the 
Popular Action Party (AP).  As part of what has been called the "first 
phase" of the military government's nationalist program, Velasco 
undertook an extensive agrarian reform program and nationalized the 
fishmeal industry, some petroleum companies, and several banks and 
mining firms.

Because of Velasco's economic mismanagement and deteriorating health, he 
was replaced by Gen. Francisco Morales Bermudez Cerruti in 1975.  
Morales Bermudez moved the revolution into a more pragmatic "second 
phase," tempering the authoritarian abuses of the first phase and 
beginning the task of restoring the country's economy.  Morales Bermudez 
presided over the return to civilian government in accordance with a new 
constitution drawn up in 1979.  In the May 1980 elections, President 
Belaunde Terry was returned to office by an impressive plurality.

Nagging economic problems left over from the military government 
persisted, worsened by a period of unusual weather in 1982-83, which 
caused widespread flooding in some parts of the country, severe droughts 
in others, and decimated the schools of ocean fish that are one of the 
country's major resources. After a promising beginning, Belaunde's 
popularity eroded under the stress of inflation, economic hardship, and 
terrorism.  

During the 1980s, illegal cultivation of coca was established in large 
areas on the eastern Andean slope.  Rural terrorism by Sendero Luminoso 
and the Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement increased during this time 
and derived significant financial support from the illegal drug 
industry.  The 1983 municipal elections were won largely by opposition 
party candidates. In 1985, the American Popular Revolutionary Alliance 
(APRA), founded in 1928 by Victor Raul Haya de la Torre, won the 
presidential election, bringing Alan Garcia Perez to office. The 
transfer of the presidency from Belaunde to Garcia on July 28, 1985, was 
Peru's first exchange of power from one democratically elected leader to 
another in 40 years.

Extreme economic mismanagement by the Garcia administration led to 
hyperinflation from 1988 to 1990.  Concerned about the economy, the 
increasing terrorist threat from the Sendero Luminoso, and allegations 
of official corruption, voters chose a relative unknown, Alberto 
Fujimori, as president in 1990.  


GOVERNMENT

The president is popularly elected for a 5-year term; the 1993 
constitution permits re-election.  The first and second vice presidents 
also are popularly elected but have no constitutional functions unless 
the president is unable to discharge his duties.  Although currently 
vacant, the two vice presidential positions will be filled by the 
winning candidates of the April 1995 elections.  The principal executive 
body is the Council of Ministers, headed by a prime minister.  The prime 
minister and the Cabinet are appointed by the president.  All 
presidential decree laws or draft bills sent to Congress must be 
approved by the Council of Ministers.

The legislative branch consists of a unicameral congress of 80 members; 
this will increase to 120 members in 1995.  In addition to passing laws, 
Congress is empowered to approve treaties, authorize government loans, 
and approve the government budget.  The president has the power to 
review legislation but may not formally veto laws passed by Congress.

The judicial branch of government is headed by a 16-member Supreme Court 
seated in Lima.  The Tribunal of Constitutional Guarantees, a separate 
judicial body dissolved by President Fujimori  in April 1992, is 
expected to interpret the constitution on matters of individual rights.  
An attorney general serves as a judicial ombudsman; the 1993 
constitution calls for the creation of a separate Defender of the 
People.  Superior courts in departmental capitals reviews appeals from 
decisions by lower courts.  Courts of first instance are located in 
provincial capitals and are divided into civil, penal, and special 
chambers.

Peru is divided into 24 departments and the constitutional province of 
Callao, the country's chief port, adjacent to Lima.  The departments are 
subdivided into provinces, which are composed of districts.  Local 
authorities below the departmental level are elected.

Principal Government Officials
President--Ing. Alberto Fujimori
First Vice President--vacant
Second Vice President--vacant

Ministers
Prime Minister--Efrain Goldenberg Schreiber
Minister of the Presidency--Ma. Luisa Federici Soto
Foreign Minister--Efrain Goldenberg Schreiber
Economy and Finance--Ing. Jorge Camet Dickmann
Interior--Dr. Juan Briones Davila
Justice--Dr. Fernando Vega Santa Gadea
Defense--Gen. Victor Malca Villanueva
Education--Jorge Trelles Montero
Public Health--Dr. Jaime Freundt Thurne-Oyanguren
Agriculture and Food--Ing. Absalon Vasquez Villanueva
Labor--Dr. Augusto Antonioli Vasquez
Transportation and Communications --Dr. Dante Cordova Blanco 
Energy and Mines--Ing. Daniel Hokama T.
Fisheries--Ing. Jaime Sobero Taira
Industry, Commerce, Tourism, and Integration--Dra. Liliana Ma.Canale 
Novella
Ambassador to the United States--Ricardo Luna
Permanent Representative to the United Nations--Fernando Guillen
Ambassador to the Organization of American States (OAS)--Beatriz 
Ramacciotti

Peru maintains an embassy in the United States at 1700 Massachusetts 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC  20036 (tel. 202-833-9860).  Peru has 
consulates in New York; Paterson, N.J.; Miami; Chicago; Houston; Los 
Angeles; and San Francisco.


POLITICAL CONDITIONS

President Fujimori inherited a government which faced an increasingly 
powerful insurgency by the Sedero Luminoso; hyperinflation; statist 
economic policies; international isolation; rapidly growing cocaine 
production and trafficking; and a new low in voters' confidence in 
political institutions.  President Fujimori's economic shock program 
sharply reduced inflation.  Peru resumed its ties with the international 
financial community, reduced trade restrictions, and welcomed foreign 
investment.  

In April 1992, the President carried out an "auto-coup," dissolving 
congress and regional governments and assuming control over the 
judiciary.  There was broad popular support for the coup, which 
reflected long frustration with politicians' inefficiency and 
corruption.  Operating with a small circle of advisers, including the 
National Intelligence Service (SIN), the president ruled by decree law.  
His intention, frequently stated, was to modernize Peru and end 
corruption, drug-trafficking, and terrorism.  Following pressure from 
the Organization of American States and the United States, the President 
convened elections for a constituent congress on November 1992.  The OAS 
declared that these and the municipal elections held in February 1993 
were fair.  The government won approval of the new constitution by a 
slim margin in October 1993.  

Political parties, such as Accion Popular, did well in the 1993 
municipal elections.  Opposition and independent politicians are 
actively preparing for the presidential/congressional elections in 1995.  
President Fujimori, whose approval rating was in the 60%- plus range in 
October 1994, is campaigning for re-election.

President Fujimori continued the increased focus by the police and army 
on intelligence and civic action in fighting the SL.  The capture of SL 
leader Abimael Guzman in September 1992, followed by other captures, 
significantly damaged the guerrillas.  Guzman called for SL to enter 
peace negotiations with the government in 1993.  

Human rights violations by the security forces dropped considerably in 
late 1992, as military authorities regained confidence in their 
abilities to subdue terrorism.  President Fujimori has asserted his 
personal authority over the armed forces to an extent almost unequalled 
in Peruvian history.  The arrest of several generals and other officers 
in November 1992 for coup plotting revealed tensions within the armed 
forces.


ECONOMY

The economic restructuring program of the Fujimori administration is 
beginning to have a positive effect on Peru's economy, which has 
suffered decades of high inflation, unproductive investment policies, 
high foreign debt, subsidies, mismanagement, and corruption.  Trade, 
investment, and foreign exchange policies have been liberalized as well 
as laws on labor and land.  Inflation has been reduced significantly 
through tight monetary and fiscal policies.  Domestic deficit financing 
has been curbed through tax reform, corrections in public prices, and 
expenditure control, including the elimination of subsidies.  In mid-
1994, the Fujimori administration had attained significant successes in 
privatizing all state-owned enterprises.  The government sold its share 
in the national phone system to a Spanish company for more than $2 
billion and later sold one of two major government banks to an 
international consortium in 1994.

The Peruvian economy continues the strong recovery of 1993, which had an 
almost 7% increase in GDP.  Overall inflation for 1993 was 39%, down 
from 57% the previous year and 7,650% in 1990. Economic growth in the 
first five months of 1994 was 12% compared with the same 1993 period and 
could well exceed 8% for the entire year.  Even with slightly relaxed 
monetary policies to assist in the maintenance of the recovery, 1994 
inflation could be under the 20% target in Peru's current International 
Monetary Fund (IMF) program.

Growth in fisheries and the agricultural sector was spurred by the 
abatement of the El Nino climatic phenomenon which had caused the 
depletion of ocean fish stocks and drought on shore.  In fact, in 1993, 
the strongest growth took place in the fisheries sector, especially in 
the production of fishmeal for animal feed.  Fisheries grew 24% in 1993.  
Output in the construction sector also grew significantly, with a 14% 
increase.  Agricultural production rose 6% in 1993.  The recovery of 
this sector was concentrated in the crop sub-sector, which climbed 10%.

Mining and petroleum production rose 8% with similar increases in 
petroleum and mineral production.  The manufacturing sector also 
underwent a significant recovery, especially in primary processing; 
which rose 9% in 1993. Total manufacturing production increased 7%.  

Preliminary data for 1994 show that the leading growth sectors--both in 
terms of their contribution to overall output--and rates of growth are 
manufacturing, which rose 15% in January-May compared with the same 
period of 1993; construction, which surged by 30%; agriculture, which 
climbed 16%; and electricity, which was up 11%.  The fisheries sector, 
while accounting for only about 2% of total output, made a significant 
contribution to overall growth by rising 34% during the first five 
months of 1994 against the comparable 1993 period.  Mining output is 
projected to grow, aided by recovering international prices and the 
development of joint ventures attracting significant foreign investment, 
especially in the more prosperous Peruvian mining operations.

For 1994 as a whole, manufacturing is expected to grow by 8%-9%.  Use of 
capacity should rise to 58%-60% by the end of the year, compared with 
53% at the end of 1993.  Primary product processing continues to play an 
important role, and growth rates are highest in fishmeal, leather and 
skins, and foundry products.  With an apparent recovery of demand, 
output of consumer goods also is on the rise.

The construction sector also will continue to grow strongly with output 
increasing a projected 12%-15%.  Strong public sector investment in 
highway rehabilitation, schools, water, sewage, and rural 
electrification should fuel demand.  Output should also rise in the 
housing sector, because of a strengthened public housing program and the 
reinitiation of a private mortgage system.

Narcotics

Peru is the world's leading producer of the coca leaf.  Two-thirds of 
the world's cocaine supply originates from coca leaf grown in Peru.  
Contributions of this illicit industry to national economy is unknown 
but probably adds several $100 million a year at a minimum.  Some 
100,000 farmers are involved in the production.  The large inflow of 
illegal dollars from the drug industry artificially strengthens the 
Peruvian sol against the dollar, helping to erode international 
competitiveness of the country's legitimate exports.  

In 1993-94, the Government of Peru conducted operations, which included 
the seizure of drug traffickers and drugs; the destruction of coca labs; 
disablement of clandestine air strips; and prosecution of security 
officers involved in narcotics corruption.  The government also created 
programs to eradicate coca seed beds and enacted laws to ensure the 
destruction of poppy cultivation.  Peru is cooperating with 
multinational efforts to eliminate precursor chemicals used to transform 
coca leaf into cocaine.

Foreign Trade and Balance Of Payments

In 1993, Peru recorded a total merchandise trade deficit of more than 
$500 million. Peru's first-quarter 1994 merchandise trade deficit 
amounted to $247 million.  In 1993, U.S. merchandise exports to Peru 
totaled $1.1 billion; U.S. imports from Peru were $754 million.

Generally, the 1994 balance of payments strengthened the trends begun in 
1993 and increased long-term capital flows into Peru.  This resulted in 
a larger capital account surplus, and a higher current account deficit. 

In 1993, the Peruvian balance-of-payments surplus was $500 million.  The 
current account deficit of $1.775 billion, according to Central Bank 
statistics, was more than covered by capital inflows.  Within those 
flows, long-term investments are becoming more prominent.  The long-term 
capital account surplus in 1993 was $1.237 billion, up from $612 million 
in 1992.  Short-term capital flows fell sharply--from $1.576 billion in 
1992 to $1.037 billion in 1993.1

The overall Peruvian balance-of-payments surplus for 1994 was estimated 
to be more than $2.5 billion, with inflows from the privatization 
program likely to exceed $3 billion.  This inflow of capital is 
financing a current account deficit that is expected to be somewhat 
higher this year than in 1993, especially given an expected real 
appreciation of the sol in 1994.  

Foreign Investment

The Fujimori government seeks to attract both foreign and domestic 
investment in all sectors of the economy.  Macroeconomic instability, a 
hostile political climate, and terrorism discouraged such investment in 
the past, but increasing reforms and success in the Peruvian 
Government's war on terrorism have helped attract more foreign 
investors.  The new constitution--enacted January 1, 1994--Legislative 
Decree 662 (DL 662) of September 1991, the Foreign Investment Promotion 
Law, DL 757 of November 1991, and the Framework Law for Private 
Investment Growth are the basic legal frameworks for foreign investors 
in Peru.  Supreme Decree 162 (DS 162) of October 1992 provides the 
implementing regulations for these legislative decrees.

Foreign investment is now subject to national treatment and is permitted 
in almost all economic activity.  Article 63 of the new constitution 
states that "national and foreign investment are subject to the same 
terms."  Although foreign investment must be registered with the 
National Commission on Foreign Investment and Technology, if the 
investor intends to repatriate capital, profits, and royalties, no 
authorization is actually required to move funds abroad.  All investors 
need prior approval to invest in industries that manufacture weapons.

Economic Outlook

The Peruvian Government's primary economic objective is to reduce 
inflation to single digits and then to focus more on social and economic 
growth programs.  The government hopes to lower inflation to 9% in 1995.  
Current indicators suggest that the 1995 increase in GDP growth rate 
could exceed that projected for 1994.  With single-digit inflation, 
strong economic potential, and continued foreign investment, Peru could 
continue its economic recovery well into the latter half of the 1990s.

Nonetheless, the government's preoccupation with macroeconomic issues, 
insufficient capital investment funds at home, and a dramatic drop in 
foreign credits as a result of Peru's policy of debt-service limitation.  
Upgrading education and services, reducing the 2.0% population growth 
rate through expanded family planning activities, decentralizing the 
economy, and agricultural development remain high government priorities, 
as does reducing the high unemployment and underemployment rates.


FOREIGN RELATIONS

President Fujimori is increasing Peru's ties to Japan and other 
countries on the Pacific Rim, as noted by several presidential visits 
and many others by government officials to the region.  The April 1992 
coup strained Peru's relations with many OAS and European countries.  
Relations improved as the government has returned to democratic 
institutions through the Constituent Congress process. The President 
aims to improve relations with its neighbors.  Peru is a member of the 
Andean pact together with Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador, and Venezuela.  
Peru has been a member of the United Nations since 1949.  Former UN 
Secretary General (1981-91) Javier Perez de Cuellar is Peruvian.


U.S.-PERUVIAN RELATIONS

The principal U.S. interests in Peru continue to be the stability and 
strengthening of democratic institutions, protection of human rights, 
ending illegal Peruvian exports of cocaine, interdicting the flow of 
narcotics to the Untied States, and maintaining sustainable economic 
development.

U.S. relations with Peru have improved after the Peruvian Government 
implemented its May 1992 promises to the OAS Ministerial Meeting 
(Nassau) to restore democracy after the coup.  Peru has accepted U.S. 
offers to provide technical assistance for the 1995 elections, which 
will be an important test for democracy.  Human rights remains a 
significant element of U.S. policy toward Peru.  The terrorists remain 
the largest violator of human rights in Peru.  The number of 
extrajudicial executions and disappearances by security forces dropped 
in 1994.  With the November 1994 elimination of the repentant terrorist 
law, under which terrorists could gain lighter sentences by  providing 
information on operations and members to the government, the number of 
arbitrary detentions should also slow.  However, impunity of security 
forces accused of past human rights abuses continues, and trials of 
accused terrorists in military and civilian courts lack due process 
guarantees.  

With increasing success against terrorism, the Peruvian Government has 
turned more effort and resources toward control of the illegal cocaine 
industry.  The Peruvian Government recently adopted a comprehensive 
national drug control plan.  However, corruption and crippling resource 
constraints have limited Peruvian efforts.  The United States and other 
donors recognize that a significant long-term alternative development 
assistance effort, complemented by control of illegal drug trafficking, 
is necessary to reduce economic dependence of a large farming population 
on coca production, and thus make it politically possible to eliminate 
coca destined for illicit drug production.  

The United States fully supports Peru's efforts to reinsert itself in 
the international financial community. The United States was a co-
leader, along with Japan, of the Peru Support Group in 1993. 

U.S. Economic Assistance

U.S. bilateral assistance to Peru, including food aid and disaster 
relief and rehabilitation, totaled more than $714 million during the 
1990-94 period.  Peru has been the Agency for International 
Development's (USAID) largest program in South America.  USAID has 
provided valuable resources for priority development projects at a time 
when Peru's own domestic resources have been severely restricted by the 
need for austerity in public spending and by unprecedented natural 
disasters.

Through Title II Food Aid Programs, USAID assists 2.6 million Peruvians 
living below the poverty threshold.  Designed to alleviate not only 
hunger and to help them become reincorporated into the economy, it also 
provides food for work activities, which have created jobs for 125,000 
temporary workers while building basic productive infrastructure for 
sustainable development.  In addition, the assistance has provided 
capital access, management, technical, and business skills to 6,000 
people, helping them to establish or maintain small businesses.

USAID also provides health, nutrition, and family planning services, 
emphasizing preventive health and nutrition interventions for young 
children and their mothers.  USAID is the major donor for immunization 
in Peru.  In 1993, immunization coverage of children under age one 
reached the highest levels ever in the country.  Further, in 1994, a 
major public health milestone will be reached:  Polio will be declared 
eradicated from the Americas, an accomplishment that has not yet been 
attained in any other region.  The last case of polio in the region 
occurred in Peru in 1991.  Moreover, adequate clinical treatment and use 
of oral rehydration therapy have contributed to an extremely low 
fatality rate of slightly over 1% for cholera in 1994.

USAID developed a nationwide computerized health and management 
information system--the first in the Latin America and Caribbean region-
-for the Ministry of Health.  The system links the ministry's 32 health 
regions and gives information-sharing on health statistics nationwide 
and for comparative purposes.  This will help improve national health 
planning and better allocate  scarce resources to segments of the 
population in greatest need.

Toward strengthening the investment climate through improved legal, 
regulatory, and judicial environment, USAID financed the creation of the 
Lima Chamber of Commerce's Arbitration Center, which resulted in more 
efficient resolution of commercial conflicts and is an effective 
alternative to the slow judicial system.  The Microenterprise and Small 
Producers Support Project helped increase small business earnings by $25 
million and expand Peru's agricultural export base by 2,000 small 
agricultural producers with more access to both national and 
international markets.

Increased democratization and transparency of government decision-making 
has been advanced through proactive initiatives of numerous USAID-
assisted non-governmental organizations, including the Institute for 
Liberty and Democracy, Drug Information and Education Center, and FORO 
National/International.

Principal U.S. Officials
Ambassador--Alvin P. Adams
Deputy Chief of Mission--James Mack
Director, AID Mission--George Wachtenheim
Counselor for Public Affairs (USIS)--Pamela Corey-Archer
Counselor for Narcotics Affairs (NAS)--Sherman N. Hinson
Counselor for Political Affairs--Stephen McFarland
Counselor for Economic Affairs--John Riddle
Counselor for Consular Affairs--Thomas Holladay
Counselor for Administrative Affairs--Alphonse Lopez
Naval Attache--Capt. Manuel Durazo
Army Attache--Col. William Spracher
Air and Defense Attache--Col. Thomas Blystad
Chief, Military Assistance Advisory Group (MAAG)--Col. Roy R. Trumble
Consular Agent, Cusco--Dr. Olga Villagarcia


The U.S. Embassy in Peru is located at Avenidas Garcilaso de la Vega and 
Espana, Lima (tel. 33-8000).  The consulate is located at Grimaldo Del 
Solar 346, Miraflores, Lima (tel. 44-3621).  

(###)
Return to Western Hemisphere Background Notes Archive
Return to Background Notes Archive Homepage
Return to Electronic Research Collection Homepage