In Latin America, indigenous people, many of whom who lack access to health facilities or clean water, are being particularly hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alicia Bárcena, the head of ECLAC, the UN body for the region – together with the Caribbean - who worked with Maya communities early in her career, is concerned by the health risks faced by indigenous people, as well as poverty in Latin America, which is rising, following years of progress.
A new report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) unveiled on Tuesday, proposes that governments ensure immediate temporary cash transfers to help millions of people struggling to meet basic needs, as the massive fallout from COVID-19 ripples across the region’s economies.
The COVID-19 pandemic will herald the worst economic contraction in the history of Latin American and the Caribbean, with a projected -5.3 per cent drop in activity this year, according to a report by the UN office for the region, ECLAC, published on Tuesday.
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The issue of equality is expected to be at the centre of discussions getting underway in Mexico between representatives of countries in Latin America and the Caribbean.
ECLAC comprises 45 Member States and 13 associate members.
Economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean will average out at half a per cent in 2015, according to the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).
Growth is expected in Central America and Mexico as well as the Caribbean but economies are expected to contract in South America.
The economic slowdown is due to external and domestic factors; the global economy’s slow growth during 2015 and lower investment rates in individual countries.