The hunger caused by the epidemic is making the world more unequal. On the hillside of Lima, the capital of Peru, there is a slum called “Goshen”. There, in addition to the new crown pneumonia, another “plague” has also arrived, and that is hunger.
As poorer people and countries lose the gains they have made in fighting hunger and poverty over the years, rising inequality is likely to become one of the long-lasting legacy of the new crown epidemic. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the hardest hit by the epidemic, food insecurity experienced the largest surge: an increase of 9 percentage points to 40.9%. Among them, few countries have experienced such a large increase like Peru. The latest data show that the country’s poverty rate has surged from 20% to 30% in just one year.
Right now, Peru’s economy is rebounding, and the well-known ceviche in Miraflores, a wealthy district of Lima, is refilling the stomachs of wealthy diners. But the plight of the poor is getting worse. In “Goshen”, 5-year-old Milinka and 8-year-old Louis slept in the same room with their parents. His father was a motorcycle driver and his mother was a toy factory worker, but lost his job during the epidemic, which caused a sharp decline in the family’s income. Most of the daily expenditure of about 9 US dollars is used to pay for water, electricity and online lessons for the children (as shown in the picture), and lunch is provided in the “public pot”. Today, there are such temporary food stations in various slums in Lima, and extremely poor residents gather to share very few rations. In March, Milinka always stayed listlessly in the corner, and was accompanied by oral infections. At the same time, Louis is no longer interested in playing football on mud. “We began to think they were just sluggish,
But after sending them to the clinic, it was discovered that they were suffering from anemia. “The 27-year-old mother Marimar Avila said, “The doctor told me to let them eat more.” But where is the money? Where is the food? We are not infected with the virus, but the epidemic is killing us. ”
Opposite the “Goshen”, the San Martin de Pores district was once a promising working-class community. But today, residents there who have been hit by the epidemic can only survive by receiving free food, including 57-year-old Juan Tarazona. He owns a 30-year-old small kitchenware company, but “basically died in the epidemic.”
It is not that the government has not taken actions to help the poor, such as distributing cash and food, but critics say that these have not benefited enough people. Isabel Quesper, who lives in “Goshen”, said that last year, her son, whom she called “Best Hope”, dropped out of a technical university and lost his job as a carpenter’s husband. “They say that the economy is improving, which may be true for people living in Miraflores.” She said, “But here, we are still starving, and no one comes to help us.”