Extreme poverty is expected to reach 83 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020 | Human Rights | SAHIFAT ASSALAM PALESTINE 

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Direitos Humanos / 17/06/2020


Extreme poverty is expected to reach 83 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020

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Extreme poverty is expected to reach 83 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020

Fonte ONU

As a result of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the population living in extreme poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean could reach 83.4 million people in 2020, which would imply a significant increase in hunger levels.

The conclusion comes a report presented this Tuesday (16) by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

Document proposes urgent actions to face the increase in hunger caused by the pandemic in the countries of the region.

As a result of the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the population living in extreme poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean could reach 83.4 million people in 2020, which would imply a significant increase in hunger levels.

The conclusion comes a report presented this Tuesday (16) by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

The joint document “How to prevent the COVID-19 crisis turning into a food crisis: Urgent action against hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean” proposes urgent actions to face the increase in hunger caused by the pandemic in the countries of the region.

According to the report, after seven years of slow growth, the region of Latin America and the Caribbean may experience the biggest drop in regional GDP in a century (-5.3%), increasing this year by 16 million the number of people in extreme poverty compared to the previous year, totaling 83.4 million.

The impact on hunger will also be significant, considering that in 2016-2018 there were already 53.7 million people in serious food insecurity in Latin America.

The effects of the crisis are already visible in the food systems: the vulnerability of workers has increased and local food prices are rising more than the prices of other products in the basic basket, according to the consumer price index - CPI.

Due to rising unemployment and falling incomes, millions of people are not able to afford enough food and many are having to choose cheaper food with lower nutritional quality.

Hunger bonuses for vulnerable populations and credit for producers

“The great task that lies ahead is to prevent the health crisis turning into a food crisis. To this end, we propose to supplement Basic Emergency Income (IBE) with the delivery of a Bonus Against Hunger (BCH) ”, said Alicia Bárcena, ECLAC's executive secretary.

“In Latin America, we can have a historic setback in the fight against hunger. We can lose what we accomplished in 15 years in just a few months. Millions of people can go hungry. This is the seriousness of the current problem, ”explained FAO regional representative, Julio Berdegué.

According to the report, the Bonus Against Hunger could materialize in the form of cash transfers, food baskets or coupons for the entire population in extreme poverty for a period of six months, equivalent to 70% of the regional extreme poverty line. ($ 47 in 2010).

Its cost would be equivalent to 0.06% of the regional GDP, if it is delivered only to the population in extreme poverty over 65, or 0.45% of the GDP if the entire population in extreme poverty is covered. ECLAC and FAO recommend the second option, which would cost an estimated $ 23.5 billion.

For food system producers, an increase of at least 20% in the average values ​​of credit resources over the past three years is proposed, which would add up to around $ 5.5 billion for soft loans that are financed by a line multilateral banks and development banks.

In addition, for the most rudimentary family farms, a basic investment kit ($ 250) at a cost of $ 1.7 billion on a regional scale. An appeal is also made for international cooperation to support countries in greatest vulnerability.

A set of measures to prevent the food crisis

The agencies propose the bonus as part of a set of ten measures so that all households have access to sufficient and nutritious food, companies and actors in the food system can carry out their tasks, and countries have enough food to guarantee supply at reasonable prices.

The other measures are:

Strengthen school feeding programs to ensure that children and adolescents are fed.

Support the food assistance initiatives of civil society organizations.

Financial support (credit and productive subsidies) for agricultural companies, oriented mainly to family farming.

Adjust health and care protocols in food production and transportation and in wholesale and retail markets.

Expand and guarantee the functioning of support programs for the production of self-consumption.

Guarantee financing, technical assistance and access to inputs and labor for artisanal farmers and fishermen.

Establish agile public-private consultation and coordination mechanisms among all actors in the food system.

Prevent wholesale and retail markets and agro-industries closing or slowing down their operations.

Continue with policies that have kept the world food trade open, particularly by avoiding protectionist measures that increase food prices.


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