MADRID, 4 (EUROPA PRESS)
On Friday, the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has included Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras and Venezuela in its assistance plans for 2022 and has assigned them a total of 1,692.5 million dollars. (about 1,496 million euros) of its global appeal.
The aim of the plans is to provide emergency aid to a total of 13.38 million people in those countries, a figure that does not even reach half of the population in need, which is estimated at 27.9 million.
Latin America and the Caribbean is the most unequal region in the world and the second most prone to disasters, factors that have been joined by the ravages caused by the COVID-19 pandemic which, in addition to a socioeconomic crisis that has not yet recovered , has left 30.3 percent of deaths caused by coronavirus in the world in the region, despite the fact that only 8.4 percent of the world population lives in it.
The OCHA has explained that the pandemic has had a great impact on poverty, displacement, food insecurity and violence in the region, for which it has projected the continuation of humanitarian aid over the next few years, with long-term operations. that have already started in 2021.
In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the population in need has grown by 60 percent this year, an “unprecedented” increase that has prompted the launch of Humanitarian Response Plans in these countries for a total of 588 million dollars (more than 519.7 million euros) for the period 2021-2022. So far, the plans have collectively received 11 percent of the requested funding.
In its 2022 Global Humanitarian Outlook, OCHA has noted that many Latin American and Caribbean countries are progressing, albeit slowly, towards economic recovery thanks to the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine, which reaches more than 50 percent of their population. . However, less than half of the region’s inhabitants have the full immunization schedule, and countries face “numerous” obstacles to ensuring vaccine supplies.
Scarce and inequitable access to vaccines particularly affects marginalized groups such as rural communities and indigenous peoples, “who already suffer from long-standing disadvantages in the health services they receive.”
For its part, moderate to severe food insecurity has increased by 9 percent, affecting 267 million people in the region. This is the steepest increase between 2029 and 2020 globally. States’ response capacities “are increasingly complicated due to the weakening of institutions and the loss of tax revenues, while chronic violence is returning to pre-pandemic levels in some countries,” the UN agency has warned.
Massive population displacement has reached historic levels in 2021. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center, Brazil, Cuba, Guatemala and Honduras are among the 25 countries in the world with the highest number of new displacements due to disasters or conflicts in 2020. In Honduras, 937,000 people, almost a tenth of its population, were displaced by disasters.
Meanwhile, the border between Mexico and the United States has registered a record arrival of 1.7 million migrants between October 2020 and September 2021, 20 percent more than the arrivals in 2020 and 2019 combined. Of those migrants, 149,000 are children and adolescents, a number that is increasing every month.
An increasing number of migrants in the countries of the region come from Haiti, underscoring the need for a coordinated humanitarian response throughout the region. In parallel, OCHA has warned that this situation, together with the millions of Venezuelan refugees and migrants in host countries, may worsen even more in 2022.