“Peru is a country with large differences between rich and poor. While the economy is growing, poverty in these remote areas does not diminish significantly. Yet for many reasons moving down to the valley is not an option for the people from the villages up here. They don’t speak Spanish well, have hardly any money and no land of their own. Moreover, they would face discrimination. At the same time, here in the mountains the little fertile soil they have is getting depleted. That’s not only because the population is growing, but also because fresh water is getting scarcer as a result of climate change”, Simone continues.
She then gets to the reason why we are here. “The potato is the only crop that seems to withstand the harsh conditions. It’s almost all the children eat to still their hunger every day. But their one-sided diet leads to delays in their development and diseases. In this and similar villages, more than 30% of all children under five are chronically malnourished. Six out of ten children suffer from anaemia and have iron deficiency. The Peruvian government has set up aid programs, but they are not very effective. Unfortunately, due to inadequate implementation and corruption, even the government’s well-intended regulations fail to be useful.”