The Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Qu Dongyu, stated that the increase in hunger, poverty and malnutrition is a paradox for a region that contributes significantly to the world’s food supply. .
It alone produces enough food for its entire population, said the head of that agency at an event organized by the Development Bank of Latin America on the sidelines of the 77th session of the General Assembly, which brings together world leaders in New York.
No area of the world was more affected by the Covid-19 pandemic than Latin America and the Caribbean, where economies shrank twice as fast as the world average, poverty rose to its highest level since 2006 as employment was razed
Also 65.6 million people went hungry, or more than 40 percent of the population, facing moderate or severe food insecurity, according to data from the FAO itself.
The war in Ukraine, along with other conflicts, exacerbated the impact of the pandemic and added unforeseen challenges, especially for countries in the region that are net importers of wheat, corn, and vegetable oils, all of which are subject to price shocks. During last year.
Even the region’s ability to export food is threatened by rising fertilizer costs, which could affect the production and yield of staple foods and trigger a crisis in food availability and affordability, added the director. FAO overview.
Qu pointed to four priorities that need accelerated action: immediate support to vulnerable people through social protection systems, especially in rural areas and among vulnerable groups.
Furthermore, boosting agricultural production so that family farmers have affordable access to seeds and fertilizers, working capital and technical assistance, and links to markets, and thirdly, facilitating trade in agricultural products and inputs to prevent further interruptions in food production.
Investing in climate-resilient agriculture is also needed to tackle and reverse the effects of the climate crisis.