Soaring Gas Prices in Latin America Herald Widespread Food Crisis – The Organization for World Peace

Soaring gas prices have caused economic upheaval in Latin American countries, such as Argentina, Ecuador and Panama, which already suffer from high poverty rates and runaway inflation. Protests are raging in these countries against rising pump prices and the multiplier effect they have on the economy.

“The price of fuel is an anchor for the whole economy,” Sergio Guzman, director of business advisory firm Colombia Risk Analysis, told CNN. If the cost of fuel goes up, “that has a direct impact on all kinds of prices.”

The climate change crisis, which disproportionately affects countries in the Latin American region, amplifies this problem. Paradoxically, countries have to increase their fuel consumption to compensate for the effects of climate change. In Colombia, for example – the country with the cheapest petrol prices in the world – fishermen are grappling with shortages of fish caused by changing rainfall patterns. As a direct result of changing rainfall and the increasing severity of the region’s tropical storms, fish are migrating further offshore to find clearer, cooler waters. Fishermen now have to travel much longer distances at sea to find fish to catch, which means their boats require more fuel. Meanwhile, prices for this fuel continue to rise.

“In January, fuel for our boats was 8,000 pesos ($1.96) a gallon, now it’s over 9,800 pesos ($2.70),” said Jimmy Murillo, a fisherman from the port city. of Buenaventura, to CNN. “Every week, it grows a little more, and the government does not help.

In Ecuador, intense rainfall resulting from climate change is taking a heavy toll on the agricultural industry, especially the country’s banana plantations. As a result, more fuel is spent pumping water in and out of banana plantations. This causes a chain effect increasing the prices of bananas and other products in the country.

The World Bank has predicted that climate-related disasters have cost Latin America 1.7% of the region’s GDP over the past 20 years, and the effects are being felt in growing instances of economic instability and climate change. extreme food insecurity. The latter has increased by 20% from 2014 to 2020, and currently affects almost half (41%) of Latin America.

The food crisis in Latin America will soon have a ripple effect on the whole world: over the next decade, climate change will cause food insecurity to become a global problem. It is essential that world leaders take this issue seriously and partner with Latin America to mitigate the effects of climate change. Improving urban planning and infrastructure and tackling harmful environmental practices through the implementation of climate-friendly technologies will save lives.

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