Skip to main content

Latin America & The Caribbean - Monthly Situation Snapshot - As of 22 June 2020

+ 33 more
Publication date


The COVID-19 crisis shows no sign of slowing down in Latin America and the Caribbean. PAHO/WHO indicate that the region is now the global epicentre of the pandemic and that the caseload peak is still weeks away.
Various countries in the region are now among the world's most affected in certain categories. Brazil's 1,073,376 cases and more than 50,000 deaths trail only the United States, while Peru and Chile's caseloads of 254,936 and 242,355 are among the 10 highest in the world. Chile's 12,681 cases for every one million inhabitants is the second highest rate in the world behind only Qatar.


Según la FAO y la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), la pandemia COVID-19 podría llevar a 16 millones de personas más a la extrema pobreza en 2020, lo cual produciría un aumento significativo en el hambre y se amenazaría una crisis alimentaria. Los precios de los alimentos ya están aumentando, mientras que los ingresos disminuyen a medida que aumenta el desempleo. El Caribe es especialmente preocupante dada su dependencia en las importaciones de alimentos. La FAO advierte que la pandemia podría acabar con 15 años de progreso en la lucha contra el hambre en Latinoamérica y el Caribe en cuestión de meses.


Tras las tormentas tropicales Amanda y Cristóbal, que provocaron lluvias comparables con el huracán Mitch en 1998, el PMA necesita 8 millones de dólares para ampliar el apoyo alimentario a más de 150.000 personas. Una evaluación del PMA estima que 336.300 personas en zonas urbanas y rurales podrían caer en una grave inseguridad alimentaria. El PMA destaca que el impacto colectivo de la crisis de COVID-19 y las tormentas, que provocaron inundaciones y deslizamientos que dañaron viviendas, carreteras y cultivos, ha afectado a cientos de miles de medios de vida. El Gobierno indica que más de 12.800 hectáreas de cultivos fueron dañadas o destruidas, con pérdidas de $5,6 millones.


El impacto económico de COVID-19 en Centroamérica se ve agravado por la disminución de las remesas. Tras experimentar un aumento sostenido al principio de 2020, El Salvador, Guatemala y Honduras presentan una disminución de las remesas desde marzo. Esas caídas tendrán un mayor efecto en zonas rurales que dependen más de las remesas para obtener ingresos, lo que supone el riesgo de que más personas caigan aún más en la pobreza.


According to FAO and the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic could push 16 million more people into conditions of extreme poverty in 2020, which would represent a signficant rise in hunger and threaten a food crisis. Food prices are already rising, while incomes are decreasing as unemployment increases. The Caribbean is especially concerning given their high reliance on food imports. FAO warns that the pandemic may potentially erase 15 years of progress in Latin America and the Caribbean's fight against hunger in a matter of months.


Following Tropical Storms Amanda and Cristobal, which brought rains not seen since Hurricane Mitch in 1998, WFP requires US$8 million to scale up food support for more than 150,000 people. A WFP food security assessment estimates that 336,300 people in urban and rural areas could fall into severe food insecurity. WFP notes that the collective impact of the COVID-19 crisis and the storms, which caused flooding and landslides that damaged homes, roads and crops, has affected hundreds of thousands of livelihood. Government data indicates damage or destruction of more than 12,800 hectares of crops, incurring losses of $5.6 million.


The economic impact of COVID-19 in Central America is being further compounded by falling remittances. After experiencing a steady increase during the first months of 2020, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras report falling remittances since March. These drops stand to have a greater effect in rural territories with higher reliance on remittances for income, risking more people sliding further into poverty.


PAHO report increasing transmission in border areas in parts of the Amazon, notably the borders between Brazil, Colombia and Venezuela and the borders between Brazil, Peru and Colombia. These areas often lack health infrastructure, service quality and basic access to water, sanitation and hygiene. Indigenous communities in the Amazon, in particular, are concerned with their vulnerability to COVID-19 and the extinction threat that the virus poses. The pandemic continues affecting vulnerable Venezuelan refugees and migrants, many of whom now have compounded livelihoods, food access and protection needs.


As the Caribbean heads into the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season, the UN Sub-regional Team for Barbados and the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) launched a US$29.7 million appeal to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 crisis. Caribbean island border closures, some of which have already been lifted, have had an immense impact on tourism, which accounts for as much as 50 per cent of GDP in some countries and employs half the region's labour force. Dominica, Grenada and Saint Kitts and Nevis are the only countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to report that all COVID-19 cases have recovered.

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs: To learn more about OCHA's activities, please visit