Latin American countries are better prepared financially to deal with a possible El Niño weather phenomenon, but Peru will likely be more impacted than other nations, according to Moody’s Investors Service.
“Latin American countries have reduced their fiscal deficits and their financial needs,” said Gersan Zurita, a senior vice-president at Moody’s.
“Access to emergency funds and bilateral and multilateral credits should help the nations confront the infrastructure repairs and other emergency expenses related to El Niño,” Zurita said, according to RPP Noticias.
However, Moody’s also said that Peru, which is the world’s biggest producer of fish-meal, would see a great impact from the weather event due to an increase in water temperatures in the Pacific Ocean, which will drive the shoals of anchovy and other species further out to sea, away from the warm El Niño current.
This will affect the fishing and fishmeal industries.
Moody’s also said that the production of avocado and other export crops would be impacted.
The government said earlier this year that it had a $1 billion budget to mitigate the potential disasters of the approaching El Niño weather phenomenon, of which $275 million is to be invested in the agricultural sector. Other sectors are transport and health.
The natural phenomenon is a band of anomalously warm ocean water that occurs in the Pacific Ocean about every three to five years. It affects weather patterns across the entire the Pacific. On Peru’s coast, it flows southward and pushes the cold, northbound Humboldt current further from shore, affecting fish stocks and bird populations, bringing rains to the north desert and drought to the southern highlands.