The threat of a food crisis in Latin America and the Caribbean
Latin America and the Caribbean are threatened by a food crisis, a consequence of the war in Ukraine which is reigniting inflation in a region which has not yet overcome the shock of the coronavirus pandemic, warned, today, the World Food Program (WFP).
“Millions of people could be pushed into poverty and food insecurity if the conflict in Ukraine continues”alarmed in a press release Lola Castro, director of the WFP office for Latin America and the Caribbean, based in Panama.
At least 9.3 million people in the region are food insecure and this figure could ” in the worst case “ increase to 13.3 million if the conflict continues, according to the press release from the UN agency.
“Commodity and energy prices have increased (…) Rising food inflation threatens the region, where several countries are highly dependent on grain imports”especially in the Caribbean islands, explains the WFP.
Prices per ton of basic necessities such as rice, black beans, lentils and oil increased by 27% between January and April, and by 111% between January 2019 and April 2022, underlines the UN agency .
Prior to the conflict, Russia was the world’s largest wheat exporter, while Ukraine ranked 4th and was on its way to taking 3rd place.
The Latin America and Caribbean region “is already plagued by Covid-19, rising prices and extreme weather events”worries Ms. Castro.
“The number of food insecure people is growing, and the gap between our financial needs and available resources continues to widen”underlines the director of the WFP for the region.
The WFP has launched an international appeal for donations for more than 315 million dollars to cover the cost of its operations to bring humanitarian aid to the region for the next six months.