Thursday, February 2, 2023

ECLAC: Inflation increases the risk of starvation in Latin America

MIAMI ( Associated Press) – Rising inflation in Latin America and the Caribbean raises the risk of food insecurity in the region, which faces growing extreme poverty despite having one of the world’s largest agricultural surpluses. and famine, three UN agencies said on Tuesday.

In a joint report, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Food Program (WFP) said inflation affecting the poorest regions is more than 1.4 percent. Issue that affects the richest areas.

“This behavior of food inflation increases the risk of problems of access to healthy diets, food insecurity and hunger because it disproportionately affects low-income households,” said Jose Manuel Salazar-Zirinch, acting secretary of the US Economic Commission. . Latin America. and the Caribbean, known as ECLAC.

The report was released at a press conference held at the ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile and broadcast virtually through social networks. It appeared at a time when the region is experiencing high inflation and economic difficulties mainly due to the effects of the war in Ukraine and tightening access to credit due to high interest rates.

After a brief post-pandemic recovery in 2021 and part of 2022, growth forecasts have been revised downwards. Globally, the economy is expected to grow 3.1% in 2022, down 1.3% from pre-war forecasts, while Latin America and the Caribbean will expand 3.2% this year, but activity will slow to 1.4% in 2023 . As per the latest ECLAC estimates.

According to the report, Latin America is one of the regions with the highest annual agricultural surplus in the world, surpassed only by Oceania: $127,000 million, equivalent to $200 per inhabitant. However, a large part of the countries is exposed to price increases due to production and marketing problems and the war in Ukraine.Being an importer of wheat, maize and vegetable oils.

In September 2022, the average annual increase in the consumer price index was 11.7%, while general inflation was projected to increase by 7.1%, according to the joint report titled “Towards sustainable food and nutritional security in Latin America and the Caribbean”. . World food crisis.

ECLAC estimates that the incidence of extreme poverty will increase by 0.2% in 2022, adding 1.8 million people to reach a total of 81.8 million people in the region. Most of them, 55.7 million, live in urban areas and the rest in rural areas.

Although undernourishment has increased since 2014, the increase was greater between 2019 and 2021, up 1.9 percentage points, reached 8.6% of the population. According to the report, the number of hungry people increased by 1.32 crore to 5.65 crore in the meantime.

Nation World News Desk
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