United Nations Warns Against Increased Hunger in the Caribbean and Latin America

Agencies of the United Nations stated that the COVID-19 Pandemic, which was proceeded by seven years of slow economic growth in the Caribbean and Latin America, may result in a decline of -5.3 % in the regional Gross Domestic Product (GDP). According to the United Nations, this decline would be the biggest plunge for the region’s GDP in a century.

According to a June 16th report by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic will push an additional 16 million people living in Latin America and the Caribbean into conditions of extreme poverty in 2020. According to the report, the population living in extreme poverty in the region, could reach 84.4 million.

The FAO and the ECLAC stated that a significant rise in hunger levels would result from the unfortunate increase of extreme poverty.

The report further stated that food insecurity resulting from the crisis was reflected in the fact that domestic food prices were rising more than other products according to the Consumer Price Index.

In order to tackle the increasing hunger in the region, the FAO and ECLAC presented a joint report entitled “Preventing the COVID-19 crisis from becoming a food crisis: Urgent measures against hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean.”

Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of the ECLAC, emphasized that the major task was to prevent the COVID-19 health crisis from becoming a food crisis. To this end, the ECLAC proposed an Emergency Basic Income with the provision of an Anti-Hunger Grant.

By Allen Alexander

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