UN foresees 45 million more poor people in Latin America amid COVID-19

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Published on July 22, 2020 - Duration: 02:34s

UN foresees 45 million more poor people in Latin America amid COVID-19

A United Nations report predicts a panorama for Latin America in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With a sharp drop in tourism, a severe economic contraction and a reduction in remittances will result in 45 million more people living in poverty in the region compared to 2019.

Those are some of the conclusions of a report by UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, released on Thursday.

It indicates that some Latin American and Caribbean countries have one of the highest levels of COVID-19 infections per capital with an expected 9.1% economic contraction in the region making it the largest in 100 years.

Alicia Bárcena, Executive Secretary for the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), presented the report this week through videoconferences, in which she made the difficulties and obstacles facing Latin American countries clear.

"This is a region that has been coming for seven years with very low growth and with structural gaps and an unsustainable development model that have been exacerbated by very weak social protection, fragmented health systems, and deep inequalities," said Bárcena.

The devastating economic effects left by COVID-19 in the region will translate this year into a 7% increase in the level of poverty, equivalent to 45 million more people living in poverty in Latin America compared to 2019.

Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Honduras would be the countries with the largest poor populations, the report indicates.

The report also ensures that a total of 230 million people in poverty in the region will be reached.

"It's huge... we are talking about a continent of 630 million people, ”said Bárcena.

The increase can reach 28 million more than reported in 2019.

These are the people who will not be able to cover basic food needs.

According to figures from the American Johns Hopkins University, more than three million people have contracted COVID-19 in Latin America and more than 132,000 have died.

Tourism is already feeling a heavy blow due to the pandemic.

There is a 35% drop in the tourism sector in South and Central America, and 39% in the Caribbean, according to reports.


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