COVID-19 exacerbates poverty in Latin America

Mar 10, 2021

The total number of poor people in the region rose to 209 million by the end of 2020, 22 million more than the year before, the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean said in its new annual report released today. The report shows that in 2020, poverty and extreme poverty in Latin America reached levels never seen in the past 12 and 20 years, respectively, and inequality indicators worsened, despite the urgent social protection measures taken by countries in the region to reverse the negative effects of COVID-19.

Introducing the new edition of its flagship annual report, Latin American Society 2020, ECLAC Executive Secretary Barcena noted that the COVID19 outbreak occurred against a complex economic, social and political background of low growth, rising poverty and rising social tensions. It also exposes the structural inequalities, high levels of irregularity and lack of social protection that characterize Latin American society, as well as the unfair gender division of Labour and social care structures that undermine the full exercise of women’s rights and autonomy.

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