At least 30% of Colombians food insecure

Colombian President Gustavo Petro (to the left). COLOMBIAN PRESIDENCY / REUTERS

At least 30% of Colombians, mainly in large cities, are food insecure due to unemployment, armed conflict and the economic consequences of the pandemic, the United Nations World Food Program (WFP) announced on Thursday (February 16th). United Nations.

Not less than “30%” of the country’s population suffers from“moderately or severely food insecure”which means “15.5 million” of the 50 million inhabitants of Colombia do not have regular access to sufficient and nutritious food due to a shortage of foodstuffs or a lack of resources to obtain them, according to the report of the organization UN. This phenomenon “affects more people in urban areas”with in particular some 1.5 million people concerned in Bogota (center), more than 640,000 in Medellin (north-west) or some 490,000 in Cali (west).

300 children under five died of starvation

According to the WFP, the “half” households affected by the armed conflict suffer from a lack of food. Colombia, the world’s largest producer of cocaine, has suffered more than half a century of armed conflict between the state and various groups of left-wing guerrillas, right-wing paramilitaries and drug traffickers, which the president is trying to end. Gustavo Petro, who in the summer of 2022 became the first left-wing president in the country’s history. The pandemic, unemployment and “difficult access to land” due to the conflict are among the causes mentioned by the WFP, in addition to the increase in the price of foodstuffs, “disasters (natural) linked to climate change and more recently to the shortage of inputs due” to the war in Ukraine.

The publication of this report comes after recent warning signals establishing a deterioration of the food situation in the country. More than 300 children under the age of five died of starvation in 2022 according to the authorities, the highest level in five years, and the country has some 22,000 children suffering from “acute malnutrition”.

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