The coronavirus pandemic, the impact of three hurricanes in the last two years and the effects of climate change have made Nicaragua the country that suffers the most hunger in all of Mesoamerica, according to a report report The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) annually.
According to the report, in the 2019-2021 period, 18.6% of Nicaraguans went hungry; followed by Guatemala, with 16% and Honduras with 15.3%.
Added to natural disasters is the increase in food prices in the world, as a result of the conflict in Ukraine, says Mario Lubetkin, FAO regional representative for Latin America.
However, the government of Daniel Ortega maintains that the various programs created throughout the country guarantee food security, despite the fact that they are considered “assistance-oriented” by experts and critics of the president.
“Of the 24 products in the country’s food basket, only three products were imported in 2022, that is, in 21 items the production was sufficient to guarantee food security, market supply, price stability and export surpluses in some,” he stressed. In a press conference the Minister of Finance and Public Credit, Iván Acosta.
Nevertheless the cost of the basic basket around 520 dollars in the Central American country, when most families have incomes well below 300 dollars, he stressed to the voice of america specialist Manuel Orozco, an expert on remittances and development at the Inter-American Dialogue, a Washington-based think tank.
In the last 7 years, food insecurity in Latin America and the Caribbean increased by almost 100 million people, according to the FAO.
[Houston Castillo, periodista de la VOA, colaboró con este informe]