Covid-19 puts millions at risk of severe food insecurity in Latin America and Caribbean
May 28, 2020 - The UN World Food Programme is warning that around 14 million people could go hungry in Latin America and the Caribbean this year due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
New projections released late Wednesday estimate a startling increase: Whereas 3.4 million experienced severe food insecurity in 2019, that number could more than quadruple this year in one of the world’s most vulnerable regions.
The number of people going hungry is likely to be higher than the UN projection, which only takes into account numbers in the 11 countries where the organisation operates. The estimate does not include, for example, Venezuela, where one in every three people faced hunger last year, according to the food agency’s 2019 study.
The escalating hunger comes as the Covid-19 pandemic increasingly ravages Latin America. Brazil now ranks second globally in the number of coronavirus infections, behind the U.S., and rising levels in Peru, Chile, Mexico and elsewhere are stretching hospitals thin, increasingly in poor urban and remote rural communities.
Latin America and the Caribbean are expected to see a 5.3 percent economic contraction this year, possibly a sharper drop than during the Great Depression. That downturn comes after seven years of low growth averaging less than 0.5 percent.
Graphic News Standards