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The UN says the surge in poverty will bring Latin America back more than a decade

UN agencies warn that the surge in poverty and unemployment in Latin America caused by the coronavirus pandemic could set the region back for more than a decade.

Alicia Barsena, Secretary-General of the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), said the region urgently needed to build a new welfare state to reduce “unsustainable” levels of inequality. Said that.

“I don’t want to go back to where I was [before the pandemic]”She said at a press conference in Santiago on Thursday. “Recovery is transformative and should focus on equality and sustainability.”

Latin America is already “Lost decadeVery low growth and social stagnation before the coronavirus hit. ” Today, it accounts for only 8.4% of the world’s population and 27.8% of all Covid-19 deaths, making it the most affected developing region. A 7.7% economic contraction last year caused major deaths.

Extreme poverty According to figures presented by ECLAC in a report on the social impact of a pandemic, it jumped to the level last seen 20 years ago, affecting 78 million people.Over one-third of the region’s population, or 209 million Live in poverty,Added. Eight out of ten were classified as “vulnerable.”

Latin American government is $ 86 billion Support measures To mitigate the worst effects of the coronavirus. Barsena said this was not enough and the region should now move towards implementing urgent basic income for its people.

The pandemic exacerbates inequality by saying that ECLAC is already the most unequal region in the world. Wealthy people in Latin America worked remote from beachside apartments, country ranches, spacious city villas, or overseas villas during the pandemic, but poor people to make a living Most of the time I was obliged to continue working in a crowded city center.

The regional unemployment rate ended at 10.7%, 2.6 percentage points higher than in 2019. The impact was felt unequal.

“Women are really the most affected in this pandemic, and including them in the labor market has set back 10 years,” said Bárcena. Young people and workers in the informal economy were also hit hard.

At the onset of the Covid-19 crisis in Latin America, female workers could lose 44% more jobs than male workers, according to another World Bank survey released Thursday. This difference was maintained when some jobs returned.

The children were also seriously affected. According to UNICEF data released Thursday, the Latin American and Caribbean regions have the longest school closures in the world due to the coronavirus, leaving nearly 60% of all grades absent.

“In Latin America and the Caribbean, losses will be more disastrous and widespread than any other region for children, parents, and society as a whole,” said Jean Goff, Regional Director of Latin America and the Caribbean at UNICEF. Says.

Wealthy children could continue to study online at home, but lack of internet access prevented them from doing the same in poor families. According to ECLAC figures, 80% of Colombian children and 89% of Mexico were unable to go online in one-fifth of the lowest-income families.

Ending the dire situation, the region has been delayed in starting vaccination and is constrained by the lack of doses available in most countries. Analysts do not expect the region to reach herd immunity until 2022 or later.

Mexico has led the demand for greater global equality in vaccine distribution. However, President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador’s request for assistance to Joe Biden at this week’s virtual summit did not elicit an immediate response.

The UN says the surge in poverty will bring Latin America back more than a decade

Source link The UN says the surge in poverty will bring Latin America back more than a decade

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