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Coronavirus

U.N. Warns that Latin America Could See a Devastating Jump in Childhood Poverty.

BOGOTÁ, Colombia — The U.N. children’s agency is warning that Latin America could see a devastating jump in childhood poverty.

UNICEF and Save the Children warned Thursday that 46% of children in the region could be living in poor households by the end of the year as a result of the new coronavirus pandemic. That would make Latin America the second hardest hit region in the world.

An additional 16 million children are projected to live in poor households this year.

Monica Rubio, UNICEF ’s social policy adviser, says such a rise would “significantly reverse” gains made in reducing childhood poverty in the past two decades.

The United Nations estimates that the region’s economy could contract 5.3% this year, a downturn that would be worse than the Great Depression.

The World Food Program says upward of at least 14 million people in Latin America and the Caribbean could go hungry this year.

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