Focus on Latin America: Hunger Is Now – View Recording
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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, poverty, food insecurity and unemployment have increased in all countries in Latin America. This increase is exacerbated by the impact of the pandemic on countries with low economic growth and high inequality (as indicated by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations – FAO).
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), projects that the economy of Latin America and the Caribbean will suffer a 5.3% contraction in 2020. This will have a direct negative effect on household income and the ability to procure basic needs. In this scenario, the poverty rate would increase by 4.4% during 2020, from 30.3% to 34.7%, resulting in an additional 28.7 million people living in poverty.
The World Food Programme (WFP) estimates that another 10 million people would be forced into poverty and hunger across 11 countries in Latin America. In this scenario, the total number of people with severe food insecurity would increase from 3.4 million in 2019 to about 13.7 million in 2020, largely due to COVID-19.
These scenarios brought about by COVID-19 make it necessary to take short and medium-term measures to respond to the increase in poverty, food insecurity and unemployment in the region.
In this session, leaders from International Development Bank, ECLAC and FAO will discuss their perspectives of the short and medium-term outlook for Latin America given the impact of COVID-19. The discussion will also explore how food banks play a vital role in supporting their communities during these challenging times.
- Laura Ripani, Principal Specialist, Labor Markets and Social Security Division, Inter-American Development Bank, Washington D.C.
- Octavio Sotomayor EcheÃ±ique, Economic Affairs Officer, Division of Natural Resources Division, ECLAC, Chile.
- Ricardo Rapallo, Chief Policy Officer – Food Security and Nutrition, FAO, Latin America and the Caribbean.