Since its emergence, the virus has pushed millions of households into poverty in both the North and the South. According to a recent United Nations report, by 2020, 32 million more people could be at risk of falling into extreme poverty because of the economic crisis linked to the pandemic.
In our countries of intervention, the fear of not being able to feed oneself has quickly overtaken that of the disease. And for good reason: How can you provide for your family when markets are closed or access to them is restricted? How can you get basic foodstuffs without the income that the informal economy usually provides? How can you have a varied diet in times of confinement and without a refrigerator?
A virus that widens inequalities
Hunger was already on the rise in recent years, the pandemic has unfortunately made the situation worse. In 2019, nearly 690 million people were chronically undernourished in the world and the recession due to the new coronavirus is likely to add between 83 and 132 million individuals, warns the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). Against this backdrop, the prospect of achieving the second goal of the 2030 Agenda “zero hunger” seems increasingly difficult to achieve.
But SWISSAID is not giving up and is continuing its commitment to the most vulnerable. Last year, at the height of the first wave, we regularly reported on the realities on the ground on our website. We relayed testimonies from people in Guinea-Bissau, Ecuador and India. We told you about our efforts to install mobile hand-washing devices, our support for agroecology, our fight against fake news thanks to our teams and your support.
This work has never stopped and today, one year later, we propose to take a look at the situation in several of our countries of intervention. To turn the spotlight on some of our programmes and their beneficiaries, to see what their daily lives are like. A daily life that varies greatly from one region to another, from one country to another, from one moment to another. Over the past year, we have had to be agile: some of our projects have been adapted, others have been created to meet particular needs, but our determination remains intact.