The Necessity of Food Markets
Furthermore, the Peruvian food markets provide another challenge, maintaining social distancing. On April 14, CNN affiliate TV Peru captured images of a Lima food market where shoppers waited for hours in lines or in masses while wearing masks but not practicing social distancing. This scene was then replicated outside of banks as people queued up in an attempt to access coronavirus relief funds. Peruvian food markets have quickly become hot spots for contagion, not just for shoppers but also for vendors.
Proving to be an Issue
Entrepreneurs feel Economic Strain
Despite the dangers surrounding vendors and shoppers, Peruvian food markets are only half of the equation. The global pandemic has also wreaked havoc on small producers and entrepreneurs.
People who work in small scale production don’t always have easy access to local markets which can lead to two things:
- The producers are unable to sell their products in the cities and thus receive less income than they normally would.
- Markets will begin to see a decline in produce and goods, which will result in crowded markets and higher prices.
Although Peru is starting to grant transit permits to these small producers, the process has been slowed down due to the coronavirus. While numerous solutions have been proposed by the Peruvian government, only a few actions are igniting real change in providing help for citizens living below the poverty line.
One such solution is being enacted through the German partnership program: Welthungerhilfe. The international relief program focuses on ending food insecurity across the globe. Since the outbreak of COVID-19, it has dedicated relief efforts to communities most heavily impacted. In Peru, this can be seen in the community of Húanuco. Working with the Peruvian Institute of Development and Environment (Instituto de Desarrollo y Medio Ambiente), Welthungerhilfe implemented a delivery service, to connect local farmers and producers with markets and consumers in more urban areas. This effort will keep locally owned farms employed during the crisis and fight the food scarcity affecting local markets.
For the Peruvian people living in poverty, COVID-19 has uncovered many of the nation’s shortcomings including food insecurity. Producers, vendors and shoppers alike are struggling to operate within new health regulations and provide for their families in the crowded streets of Peruvian food markets. As a result, international relief agencies, like Welthungerhilfe, have been emerging to help those in need.