War in Ukraine aggravates food insecurity in Latin America

The World Food Program (WFP) warned this Tuesday (24) that the “domino effect” of the conflict in Ukraine aggravate the problems of pandemicworsens food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean and leads to the need for more resources to help vulnerable people in the region.

The body of United Nationsawarded in 2020 with the Nobel Peace Prizepoints out in a statement that food insecurity affects 9.3 million people in the countries where it has a presence in the region, a figure that could increase to 13.3 million if the war in Ukraine persists.

THE LDC goes further and highlights that while Latin America and the Caribbean struggle to overcome the consequences of Covid-19the number of “severely food insecure” people increased by more than half a million between December 2021 and March 2022.”

In addition, with the conflict in Ukraine, the prices of raw materials and energy have risen and food inflation threatens countries in the region “highly dependent on grain imports.”

Since the Russian invasion launched on February 24, the agricultural production of Ukraine and its exports, mainly wheat and corn, have been affected, while farmers hope that it will be possible to reopen the ports to sell the stored grain.

For his part, the LDC highlights that the islands of the Caribbean that import a large part of their food will be affected when the cost of ocean freight increases.

The World Food Program It also warns that rising food and oil prices are also raising its operating costs in the region.

For him LDCwhich buys rice, black beans, lentils and vegetable oil in the region, the average costs per metric ton of these four basic products increased by 27% between January and April 2022, and 111% between January 2019 and April 2022 .

Cash transfers to vulnerable populations have also been affected, the agency said. United Nations.

“In a year of unprecedented need, our humanitarian dollar has been stretched to the limit,” he said. Lola CastroRegional Director of LDC for Latin America and the Caribbean.

Castro highlighted that while the number of people with food insecurity continues to increase, “the gap between our financial needs and available resources continues to widen”, for which, he pointed out, the LDC “Urgently requires $315 million to cover its operating costs throughout the region for the next six months.”

“Millions of people could be pushed into poverty and food insecurity if the conflict continues in Ukraine. The region is already dealing with the Covid-19the increase in costs and climatic extremes”, remarked Castro.

The LDC warns that “in the midst of growing food insecurity, the region is preparing for a third hurricane season in the Atlantic more active than normal starting in June, which has the potential to push more people into hunger.”

With information and image from EFE

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War in Ukraine aggravates food insecurity in Latin America