Acting Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Wade Warren visited Peru May 10-12 to meet with government authorities and advance USAID’s work in helping Peru to take on illicit activities and promote sustainable and inclusive development.
On May 11, Acting Administrator Warren and U.S. Ambassador to Peru Brian A. Nichols met with President Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, Prime Minister Fernando Zavala and Director of the Authority for Post-changes Reconstruction Pablo de la Flor, to express the U.S. Government’s continued support to Peru in response to the damage caused by heavy rains and floods over the past two months. To date the United States has donated over $3.3 million using USAID´s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance (OFDA/USAID) support and funding, and that amount will continue to increase as OFDA begins to issue grants to support post-disaster reconstruction efforts.
Most of Acting Administrator Warren´s trip focused on reviewing USAID´s long term partnership in Peru. On May 12 Mr. Warren and Ambassador Nichols traveled to Pucallpa to observe USAID’s work to promote rural development in a region that was once overrun by coca production and insecurity, and today boasts 10,600 hectares of specialty cacao. There, they met cacao producers who stopped growing illicit coca and now successfully cultivate cacao. Acting Administrator Warren and Ambassador Nichols also talked with members of the Peru Cacao Alliance, a public private partnership that promotes alternative crops through agroforestry systems, and sampled chocolates made with fine flavored cacao filled with exotic fruits from the Peruvian Amazon. Peru is the country with the greatest biodiversity of cacao in the world.
Later, Acting Administrator Warren and his team visited a regional forest checkpoint along one of the main timber trucking routes in eastern Peru to witness firsthand how the Government of Peru’s lead forestry agency SERFOR uses the national Control Module of the National Forestry Wildlife System (MC-SNIFFS) to curtail the illegal timber trade through increased control and enforcement.
At the conclusion of his visit, Acting Administrator Warren reaffirmed USAID’s commitment to continue supporting Peru’s development, especially in combating corruption, environmental crimes and illegal gold mining: and in promoting alternative rural development and sustainable management of Peru’s rich biodiversity.