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News > Latin America

Argentina Neighborhoods Demand Social Emergency Law

  • Organizers gathered pots and food to give away to everyone at the march.

    Organizers gathered pots and food to give away to everyone at the march. | Photo: Barrios de Pie

Published 5 October 2017

Argentines are demanding that the government act to prevent hunger and malnutrition in poor neighborhoods.

In Argentina, neighborhoods have begun a new march in Buenos Aires to demand that the government of President Mauricio Macri approve a social emergency law in the country.

Milagro Sala: 'Poor Die from Hunger' in Macri's Argentina

The organizers, Barrios de Pie (Neighborhoods Standing), arranged a community fair with “solidarity kitchens” to deliver food to those in need. Daniel Menendez, the coordinator of the organization, cited Statistic Institute reports claiming that hunger is on the rise in the country.

"The recent numbers of poverty spread by Indec show a significant increase in indigence and the need to declare a Food Emergency law. We add to the concern the high levels of malnutrition detected by our organization in poor neighborhoods," Menendez said.

The march will end with a protest outside of the National Congress, according to a statement by the organization. The group will continue collecting signatures to ask for the legislative branch to approve it.

"We have already reached the 400,000 signatures, we are on our way to reach a million signatures, we are pleased with the strong support from the civil society for the Food Emergency project, which demonstrates the great solidarity of the people as a whole," Menendez said.

The Social Emergency Law calls for the creation of a complementary salary and a council to organize all workers who are in need of state assistance through social security programs. 

Since Macri took power in 2016, the Argentine government has carried out mass cuts to social programs across the country, including community pantry initiatives.

Menendez said they will also demand that authorities tackle the increase of tuberculosis cases in poor neighborhoods, which is "directly related to conditions of precarious life, poor diet and lack of medical controls."

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