GENEVA / LATIN AMERICA FOOD INSECURITY

14-Jun-2022 00:01:56
On Tuesday, WFP said that ever greater numbers of vulnerable people are risking their lives on dangerous migration routes in Latin America, forced to move by the global food security crisis that’s been made worse by spiraling inflation linked to the war in Ukraine. UNTV CH

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STORY: LATIN AMERICA FOOD INSECURITY 14 JUN 22
TRT: 1:59
SOURCE: UNTV CH
RESTRICTIONS: NONE
LANGUAGE: ENGLISH / NATS

DATELINE: 14 JUNE 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND / FILE
SHOTLIST:
FILE - GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

1. Wide shot, Palais des Nations, exterior


14 JUNE 2022, GENEVA, SWITZERLAND

2. Wide shot, podium showing speakers, press room
3. SOUNDBITE (English) Lola Castro, Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Food Program (WFP):
“We are having countries like Haiti with 26 percent food inflation, and we have other countries that really are off the charts even with food inflation.”
4. Med shot, journalist sitting in front of laptop, hand hovering over keyboard
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Lola Castro, Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Food Program (WFP):
“The fuel and energy are also a huge issue. We have seen how in last two years, the cost of moving a tonne of food in our region is seven times more expensive.”
6. Med shot, photographer, preparing to take a picture
7. SOUNDBITE (English) Lola Castro, Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Food Program (WFP):
“What we are looking now is we’re looking at 9.7 million people extremely food insecure, severely food insecure in the countries where WFP works, but we are looking at around 14 million people as forecast if the crisis continues. And this is not good, and we are going back almost to the high levels that we had during COVID-19.”
8. Med shot, podium speakers temporarily obscured by participant passing in front of TV camera
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Lola Castro, Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Food Program (WFP):
“All of you are watching caravans, caravans of migrants moving, and before, we used to talk about migration happening from the north of Central America, but now, unfortunately, we talk about migration being hemispheric. We have the whole continent on the move.”
10. Close up, podium speakers
11. SOUNDBITE (English) Lola Castro, Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Food Program (WFP):
“In 2020, 5,000 people passed by the Darien Gap, migrating from South America into Central America, and you know what, in 2021, 151,000 people passed, and this is ten days walking through a forest, ten days through rivers, crossing mountains and people die because this is one of most dangerous jungles in the world.”
12. Med shot, journalists
13. SOUNDBITE (English) Lola Castro, Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean, World Food Program (WFP):
“They are leaving communities where they have lost everything to climate crisis; they have no food security, they have no ability to feed their people and their families.”
14. Med shot, podium speakers
15. Close up, hand holding pen and writing in notepad
16. Close up, speaker shown in TV camera viewfinder and to rear

STORYLINE:
On Tuesday (14 Jun), the UN World Food Programme (WFP) said that ever greater numbers of vulnerable people are risking their lives on dangerous migration routes in Latin America, forced to move by the global food security crisis that’s been made worse by spiraling inflation linked to the war in Ukraine.

“We are having countries like Haiti with 26 percent food inflation, and we have other countries that really are off the charts even with food inflation,” said Lola Castro, WFP Regional Director in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC).

The latest data indicates that 9.7 million people in the 13 LAC countries where WFP works are already extremely food insecure, up from 8.3 million in late 2021.

“We are looking at around 14 million people as forecast if the crisis continues,” said Ms. Castro. “This is not good, and we are going back almost to the high levels that we had during COVID-19”, when 17.2 million people were severely food insecure, at the pandemic’s peak.

Fuel and energy prices were also “a huge issue” for those least able to feed themselves, Ms. Castro told journalists in Geneva.

“We have seen how in the last two years, the cost of moving a ton of food in our region is seven times more expensive.”

The dramatic deterioration in people’s daily lives has given them little option but to leave their communities and head north, even if it means risking their lives, the WFP official explained.

Communities of particular concern include Haitian migrants who traveled during the COVID-19 pandemic searching for work and shelter in Brazil and Chile.

“All of you are watching caravans, caravans of migrants moving, and before, we used to talk about migration happening from the north of Central America, but now, unfortunately, we talk about migration being hemispheric. We have the whole continent on the move.”

One of the clearest signs of people’s desperation is that they are willing to risk their lives crossing the Darien Gap, a particularly arduous and dangerous forest route in Central America that allows access from the continent's south to the north.

“In 2020, 5,000 people passed by the Darien Gap, migrating from South America into Central America, and you know what, in 2021, 151,000 people passed, and this is ten days walking through a forest, ten days through rivers, crossing mountains and people die because of this one of most dangerous jungles in the world.”

For these migrants, the reason why they are on the move is simple; the WFP official explained: “They are leaving communities where they have lost everything to the climate crisis, they have no food security, they cannot feed their people and their families.”

UN data indicates that of the 69 economies now experiencing food, energy, and financial shocks, 19 are in Latin America and the Caribbean.

This has meant that governments already doing their utmost to sustain social welfare safety nets during the coronavirus pandemic are now struggling to maintain this level of support to populations.
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