Social Issues

More than a third of Brazilian families suffer food insecurity

Rio de Janeiro, May 25 (EFE).- The percentage of Brazilian households reporting that they face food insecurity reached 36 percent last year, the highest level since surveys began in 2006, according to a report released Wednesday by the Getulio Vargas Foundation.

The respected think-tank noted that Brazil made significant strides in reducing hunger during the 2003-2011 tenure of President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva.

In 2006, the first year of the Gallup World Poll to gauge the extent of hunger, 20 percent of Brazilian families said they were struggling to put food on the table.

By 2014, the incidence of food insecurity in the giant South American country had declined to 14 percent and Brazil was removed from the United Nations World Hunger Map.

But the recession of 2015-2016 and the economic fallout from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic erased all of the progress achieved over the last 14 years.

Gallup last year surveyed 125,000 households in roughly 160 countries, asking whether at any point during the preceding 12 months they had lacked the means to ensure an adequate supply of food.

Compared with other Latin American nations, Brazil’s rate of food insecurity was the same as Argentina’s and markedly lower than that of Venezuela (72 percent), Ecuador (62 percent), Peru (56 percent), Bolivia (55 percent), and Colombia (52 percent).

The region’s best performers were Chile, with a rate of 18 percent, and Uruguay, where 30 percent of families complained of food insecurity.

Among the poorest 20 percent of Brazilians, the level of food insecurity last year was 75 percent. Gender also played a role, as women had a much higher rate than men, 47 percent versus 26 percent.

The Vargas foundation pointed out that the situation has worsened since the Gallup survey, which predated the start of the war in Ukraine and the global surge in food prices.

Brazil’s inflation rate is 12.13 percent. EFE cm/dr

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