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Hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean is at its highest point in two decades, UN says

According to a recent UN report, tens of millions are suffering from food shortages and hunger in Latin America and the Caribbean as the Covid-19 pandemic intensifies a regional malnutrition crisis to its worst levels in decades. In just one year, the number of people living with hunger in the region rose by 30%, impacting an additional 13.8 million people. In the United Nations regional Overview of Food Security and Nutrition report, the UN details the effect of months of lockdowns, travel restrictions, and other Covid-19 related measures on food security in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The issue is impacting women more than men, according to the UN, as food insecurity affects the most vulnerable individuals in society. In 2020, roughly 42% of women experienced moderate or severe food insecurity compared with 32% of men. The UN stated that this disparity has worsened over the past several years, witnessing a spike from 6.4% to 9.6% in the first year of the pandemic. Central American countries are facing the worst hardships. In Guatemala, roughly half of the population is suffering from food insecurity while El Salvador and Honduras face similar statistics, with 47% and 46% of the population facing hunger respectively.

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