A small country in Latin America with a population of approximately seven million people, Paraguay is located between Argentina, Bolivia and Brazil. Paraguay falls under the Latin American average when it comes to poverty and wellness. Furthermore, hunger in Paraguay is a large problem that needs to be addressed.
Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. The poverty rate is around forty percent. U.N. Special Rapporteur, Hilal Elver, visited the country in 2016. She said, “Paraguay has struggled to address inequalities -higher than in most neighboring countries- and important segments of society are still excluded from the country’s economic development and suffer from food insecurity.”
Overall, ten percent of the population live in extreme poverty, while the number grows for people living in rural areas. Over fifty percent of indigenous peoples live in extreme poverty. The people in the rural areas suffering from poverty rely heavily on agriculture for their livelihood.
The inequalities between elite landholders and the rural poor only exacerbate the consequences of poverty. After conducting her report, the U.N. Special Rapporteur reported that 10 percent of people in Paraguay face hunger and malnutrition. This is despite the impressive economic growth and the fact that Paraguay produces food for almost nine times its population.
While other issues are to blame for the underlying causes of poverty and hunger, the outlook is a hopeful one. A lot is being done to counteract hunger in Paraguay. The country is on track to reach its goal of ending undernourishment by 2020.
Organizations such as the World Food Programme are instituting plans and projects to help fight hunger in Paraguay. Their current programs partner with other organizations, specifically those operating locally in Paraguay, to ensure food security.
Working with these vulnerable communities who not only suffer from economic inequality, but also hunger, will help the current situation in Paraguay. It is imperative that a country with vast food resources feed its people. Hunger in Paraguay should not be a problem, especially with its growing economy.
– Emilia Beuger