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  • Moreover, 52 percent of the over 72 million people who applied for emergency assistance, were individuals responsible for children or adolescents as unemployment was higher within these families.

    Moreover, 52 percent of the over 72 million people who applied for emergency assistance, were individuals responsible for children or adolescents as unemployment was higher within these families. | Photo: EFE- Fernando Bizerra

Published 28 August 2020
Opinion

The study reveals that "33 million Brazilians went through some time when food ran out and there was no money to buy more."

Brazil's hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic crisis are families with children and adolescents, the Brazilian Institute of Public Opinion and Statistics (IBOPE) reported in its latest study.

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The research found that families with individuals under 18 years old represent the majority among those suffering hunger, food insecurity, and reduced income.

"Although children and adolescents are not the most directly affected by COVD-19, the research makes it clear that they are the major hidden victims of the pandemic," the United Nations's Children Fund (UNICEF) deputy representative in Brazil Paola Babos said.

"Their families have experienced the greatest income reductions, the quality of the food they receive has worsened, and many of their rights are at risk. It is essential to understand these impacts and prioritize the rights of children and adolescents in responding to the pandemic," the official added.

"Brazilians living in homes with children and adolescents were the most impacted by reduced income, food insecurity, and hunger, according to a survey conducted by IBOPE Inteligência at the request of UNICEF."

The study reveals that "33 million Brazilians went through some time when food ran out, and there was no money to buy more." Besides, 92 percent of the surveyed said they did not receive any food from assistance programs.

Moreover, 52 percent of the over 72 million people who applied for emergency assistance were individuals responsible for children or adolescents as unemployment was higher within these families.

The UNICEF representative, in particular, warned of a possible malnutrition crisis. "We are facing a worrying scenario of malnutrition. On the one hand, we see an increase in the consumption of unhealthy foods, which contributes significantly to the increase in overweight and chronic non-communicable diseases. On the other hand, we see an increase in food and nutritional insecurity that can lead to malnutrition and micronutrient deficiency," Cristina Albuquerque, head of Health at UNICEF in Brazil, explained.

"This situation primarily impacts the most vulnerable populations with long-term effects. It is essential to act immediately to reverse this scenario and ensure that girls and boys have access to adequate and healthy food," Albuquerque added.


     

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