LATIN AMERICA & THE CARIBBEAN: COVID-19 CRISIS OVERVIEW
Latin America and the Caribbean countries and territories now account for six of the world’s fifteen highest cumulative caseloads. Accelerated case growth in Argentina and Colombia during recent weeks pushed their cumulative cases past 1 million in October, making South America home to three of the eight countries worldwide with more than 1 million cases. Countries across the region are nevertheless carefully resuming activities to offset the pandemic’s devastating socio-economic impact, which UN teams are addressing with livelihood support measures in some countries.
CONFIRMED COVID-19 CASES AS OF 29 OCTOBER
CASES PER EVERY 1 MILLION PEOPLE AS OF 29 OCTOBER
Countries dealing with the immediate health consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic are gaining clearer indications of the long-term impacts on livelihoods and their potential humanitarian implications. Information from the first half of 2020 shows poverty in Argentina and Costa Rica rising to its highest levels in 16 and 28 years, respectively. In the first semester, Peru lost 6 million jobs, while Jamaica reports a 5.3 per cent increase in unemployment. Government emergency cash aid in Brazil is set to end at the end of 2020, threatening to leave more than 7 million people in poverty.
The UN is working with authorities to provide livelihoods support; UNDP in Honduras helped develop a vulnerability index for a Government cash program targeting 260,000 workers affected by the COVID-19 crisis, while UNDP, UNHCR and IOM in Ecuador launched a digital start-up project used by more than 120,000 businesses to boost product and service delivery to safeguard jobs and protect livelihoods.