The number of people experiencing severe food insecurity could increase fourfold from the current 3.4 million to 13.7 million in 2020, as South America becomes “a new ‘epicentre” of the COVID-19 pandemic,
This is based on the analysis in countries where the World Food Programme WFP has a presence.
WFP runs projects in Bolivia, Colombia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Peru and Small Island developing states in the Caribbean.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimated the contraction of the regional economy at minus 5.3 per cent, the biggest drop yet in the region’s history.
It will likely hit hardest those who rely on daily earnings from jobs in the informal sector.
In a recent WFP survey in nine countries, 69 per cent of the 41,000 respondents said they had seen a reduction in their incomes due to the pandemic with women particularly affected.