The worst recession in 100 years in Latin America, caused by the new coronavirus, could push a total of 73 million people into poverty. Of these, 28 million may fall into misery. The calculation was presented in a report released by the UN (United Nations) this Thursday (8).
The organization fears an increase in social upheavals in the region as a result of this jump in the number of poor people. In 2019, nations such as Chile, Colombia, Peru, Dominican Republic, Ecuador and Bolivia were shaken by protests - which could come back strongly with the new economic crisis.
Before the pandemic, the report notes, the Latin American and Caribbean development model already faced “structural limitations”. Among them are low growth, very high social inequality and export basket limited to products with low added value, which historically bequeathed to the region currency and debt crises.
There is also high informality in the labor market, natural disasters - also caused by climate change - and institutionalized devastation of the region's biomes. The high homicide rate in Latin America, which affects Brazil and other countries like Honduras and Venezuela, is also a factor that impedes development.
For the UN, "the costs of inequality in the region have become unsustainable". The first step, says the report, is to increase government transparency to consolidate democracy. This means improving accountability and inclusion mechanisms.
The organization also recommends a “serious” commitment against corruption and organized crime. The creation of jobs and social protection systems, environmental sustainability, incentives for micro and small companies and taxation that removes part of the burden on the poorest are fundamental.
These advances will not occur in a scenario of protests and a serious economic crisis. For this reason, says the report, national agreements will be needed regarding "public policies, transparency, the rule of law and democracy".