The United Kingdom is to invest 7 billion soles (1.5 billion pounds) in the programme to rebuild infrastructure in the north of Peru following the 2017 El Niño disaster. The plan was unveiled this week by President Vizcarra and will have a duration of two years. Exceptionally, and following a model pioneered last year for the building of facilities for the Panamerican Games, the British government will select the companies to be involved in construction work and those that supervise the projects.

The programme involves the construction of 74 educational establishments in Tumbes (3), Piura (29), Lambayeque (5), La Libertad (8), Ancash (24), Lima (2), Cajamarca (2) and Huancavelica (1). December 2021 has been established as the deadline. Further, the programme involves the construction of 15 hospitals in Piura, Lambayeque, La Libertad, Ancash and Lima. The deadline for these is June 2022. Finally, the programme will include projects to improve drainage systems on several rivers in northern Peru, as well as in the Lima region and Ica.

The reconstruction programme, announced with great fanfare in 2017 by the then president Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, has signally failed to bring speedy results to an area devastated by flooding. The main obstacle appears to have been inefficiency and corruption within regional, provincial and district authorities across the north.

The preparations for the Panamerican Games, generally agreed to have been a great success, were assisted by interventions from the British Embassy in Lima. The new deal promises to be good news for British construction companies.