Latin America: Civil society organisations demand a new social pact to address socio-economic inequalities post-Covid-19
Author: Federación Internacional de Derechos Humanos (FIDH), Published on: 26 June 2020
"Prioritise life over debt: in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, Latin America requires a new social pact", June 2020
...As the pandemic’s new epicentre, not only has Latin America’s death toll risen; hunger has skyrocketed. In the region, over 50% of the population—around 140 million people—work informally.
This informality makes families’ household economies precarious, even more so when stay-at-home orders curtail their income, having repercussions on their ability to feed themselves, pay rent or mortgage payments or other basic needs. Public policies must prioritise actions aiming to prevent the health crisis from becoming a full-blown food crisis.
Furthermore, access to water, which is directly tied to the virus’ spread, is cause for worry in the entire region: 65 million people do not have access to water and soap, with rural areas being the most affected.
The region’s high covid-19 death toll has given visibility to the dismantling of the public health system, the precarious nature of health workers’ jobs, and the lack of medical supplies such as ventilators and hospital beds. In Latin America, medical centres are concentrated in urban areas, leaving many rural residents disadvantaged and vulnerable.
In many countries in the region, there have been corruption scandals about improper use and embezzlement of funds meant to purchase medical equipment to fight the pandemic...