Peru: Elevating the Role of Natural Infrastructure
Peru is no stranger to climate-related water insecurity, as the country’s water supply has become more unpredictable in recent years. National states of emergency due to drought, fires, floods, and landslides have become increasingly frequent, costing Peru’s government billions of dollars. What’s more, during the last 50 years, the country has lost more than half of its glaciers, a key source of water.
To help Peru effectively withstand future cycles of drought and flood, USAID has collaborated with local partners and the Government of Canada since 2018 to help the country better manage its water resources and become more resilient to climate-related risks. USAID’s Natural Infrastructure for Water Security (NIWS) project expands the use of natural infrastructure to protect and restore the country’s threatened watersheds. By supporting Peru as it prioritizes protection of vulnerable natural ecosystems over “gray” concrete or steel water infrastructure, USAID helps ensure a safe water supply in an era of increasing water variability.
The five-year project has already helped generate and sustain momentum for making natural infrastructure a more central component of Peru’s water policy. Equally important, NIWS ensures that public investments result in tangible improvements to water and strengthens resilience to climate-related risk.With USAID’s support, the Government of Peru has incorporated natural infrastructure and gender equality as key elements in its forthcoming National Water Resources Policy. This has also led to the inclusion of natural infrastructure in Peru’s Water Policy and Governance Dialogues with the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development as part of its bid to join the group.
Building upon Peru’s role as the first Latin American country to officially incorporate gender into its climate action programming, and with the co-funding and strong partnership of Global Affairs Canada, USAID has also helped further elevate women’s leadership roles in the water sector by facilitating fora and events that expand women’s participation in water planning and policy.With technical support from USAID, Peru’s National Water Authority and national water utility regulator, SUNASS, are developing comprehensive action plans for gender equality that will mainstream gender in internal systems and public service delivery.