We’re building a new UNICEF.org.
As we swap out old for new, pages will be in transition. Thanks for your patience – please keep coming back to see the improvements.

At a glance: Peru

The big picture

Click for a detailed map (PDF)

This map does not reflect a position by UNICEF on the legal status of any country or territory or the delimitation of any frontiers.

During 2002, Peru had the fastest growing economy in the region with an estimated Gross Domestic Product growth rate of 4.5 per cent according to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). However, unemployment is still very high and poverty reduction strategies have not had sustainable results.

Children continue to be the most vulnerable and unprotected citizens. Of the 3.8 million people living in extreme poverty, 2.1 million are children. Of the total 10.2 million under-18 population, more than 6.5 million live below the poverty line. The social sector ministries suffered a setback in their capacity for action due to reorganizations of the administrative structure and reduction of public spending budget. Socio-economic disparities and exclusion continue to characterize the country affecting more children and adolescents who are not benefiting from the economic growth mentioned earlier.

UNICEF priorities

UNICEF‘s overall goal is to contribute to the development of equitable and inclusive public policies that promote and sustain the rights of children, adolescents and women, with full respect for diversity.

UNICEF‘s work comprises two components designed to complement each other:

  • Local initiatives for social inclusion that contribute to the participatory development of strategic interventions with an emphasis on equal access to quality and culturally relevant social services, and 
  • The exercise of citizenship and adolescent participation. This includes promoting and monitoring rights and operates nationally aiming to strengthen access to information and knowledge, and commitment to and participation in establishing inclusive public policies to realize children's and women's rights.

The government's national plan of action also includes these priorities. The monitoring of the implementation is overseen by both the government and UNICEF. Although UNICEF has been working with the indigenous population in the Amazon for many years, efforts to define inclusive policies in that region are recent. Some progress has been made in the areas of health and protection. The experience in promoting intercultural dialogue to combat exclusion in the Andean highlands will contribute to these efforts. Policies required for the Amazon areas vary considerably depending on the situation of the different indigenous populations.

One of the country's goals is to reduce the maternal mortality rate to 80 per 100,000 live births. The government has established strategic actions, such as developing information, education and communication campaigns on sexual and reproductive rights, as well as incorporating local practices compatible with safe prenatal and childbirth practices.

Experiences such as those of UNICEF's Safe Motherhood Programme in the departments of Cajamarca, Cusco and Apurímac can serve as a model. Interventions to promote institutional births have produced favourable results. Efforts to guarantee pregnant women's access to health services now focus on the cultural adaptation of services, which begins with a change of attitude on the part of health professionals. This process also requires becoming familiar with the local culture, so that health facilities become places where mothers and children can exercise their rights.



Basic Indicators

Under-5 mortality rank


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 1990


Under-5 mortality rate (U5MR), 2012


U5MR by sex 2012, male


U5MR by sex 2012, female


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 1990


Infant mortality rate (under 1), 2012


Neonatal mortality rate 2012


Total population (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of births (thousands) 2012


Annual no. of under-5 deaths (thousands) 2012


GNI per capita (US$) 2012


Life expectancy at birth (years) 2012


Total adult literacy rate (%) 2008-2012*


Primary school net enrolment ratio (%) 2008-2011*


Definitions and data sources [popup]

Source: The State of the World's Children

New enhanced search