The Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean, an entity supported by FAO, called on Wednesday “not to neglect the fight against hunger” and not to raise food prices during the COVID-19 pandemic .
“We call on decision-makers to consider the protection of the right to food of Latin American and Caribbean people among emergency measures,” begins the open letter signed by more than 500 parliamentarians from 20 different countries that make up the network. legislative.
In economic terms, the letter continues, “our message is that there are no reasons for increases in food prices, other than the normal ones due to the seasonal cycles of each country.”
In the statement, the front emphasized that “in Latin America and the Caribbean not everyone has the necessary means to adequately feed themselves in a quarantined state,” and especially the most vulnerable sectors such as boys, girls, older adults and people with minors. income.
According to the latest estimates published by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), hunger affected 42.5 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018, representing 6, 5% of the total population of the region.
In the case of schoolchildren, the organization warns, the food they received in schools – before the majority of centers closed due to the coronavirus outbreak – was key, even becoming the only source of food for 10 million children. sure they get up to date.
“It is crucial that countries address food emergency measures aimed at the most vulnerable sectors,” said the statement, which also urged private companies to keep food distribution accessible to the entire population.
Latin America registered its first case of contagion of coronavirus on February 26 in Brazil, a country that continues to lead the number of infected in the region with 4,256.
Behind Brazil are Chile (3,031), Ecuador (1,890), Mexico (1,215), Panama (1,181), Peru (1,065) and Argentina (1,054), according to the real-time world map of the pandemic prepared by the United States. Johns Hopkins University.
“This virus does not respect borders and any individual attempt to combat it will fail. At the moment, our greatest antidote will be international cooperation and solidarity between countries,” the Parliamentary Front Against Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean stated in the statement.