Once the contingency generated by Covid-19 passes, Latin America will have the challenge of overcoming its economic and social problems .
Integration between the countries of the region is essential to overcome the crisis. / Photo: Freepik
LatinAmerican Post | Belisario Chacon
Listen to this article
Leer en español: Latinoamérica post pandemia: Los retos del mañana para la región
Latin America and the Caribbean are in the eyes of the world after having been hit hard by the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak, and becoming the main focus, with more than 6,922,174 infections registered until August 27, as indicated by the Statista portal; While containment measures have been gradually lifted in Europe and Asia, the region still seems to see no hope of exiting the health emergency.
What was not expected was that with this pandemic all the economic and social weaknesses would come out in such an alarming way, creating a health and infrastructure problem never seen before, showing the inequality that exists with the great economies of the world . In the region, the rate recommended by the WHO in terms of investment in health has not been reached, which should be higher than 6% of GDP, only Chile invests 4.5%, while the other countries are far below, explained the LR República portal with data obtained from ECLAC.
In Latin America, the main challenges with the pandemic are to guarantee jobs and income for families, offering a series of incentives and aid to companies to avoid their closure; as well as assistance programs for those who do not have a formal job, which according to an ILO study 53% of the workforce is in the informal market. In addition, countries need to strengthen the health sector.
Emerging markets and developing economies (EMEDs) have been affected by a contraction in demand, mainly due to restrictions imposed by governments to control the expansion of the pandemic, which are, however, gradually being released.
But how does this affect the Latin American and Caribbean region? And, what can be done to bring economies afloat?
According to the recommendations of the director of the World Bank's perspectives group, Ayhan Kose, greater transparency is needed in financial operations, expenses and the fiscal issue, this would improve the image to attract investments and for possible financing that strengthens the region. When in the year 2000, 189 countries met in New York to sign at the UN the agreement that would have the goal of establishing the millennium goals, which had a deadline of 2015, it was agreed between the goals for Latin America and the Caribbean , the eradication of poverty and fostering an alliance for sustainable economic development, as well as encouraging the application of new technologies. Although progress was made in many aspects, the region still faces great challenges today, such as guaranteeing decent employment for all, without distinction of gender.
The whole context at the global level and the way in which the pandemic has affected the economies of the great powers, has repercussions in Latin America as it is a region that depends a lot on international trade and financing. The VOA news portal refers to the ECLAC report, a study by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) , which estimates a 22% drop in exports to the US and 14% for Europe , mostly in oil, mining, manufacturing and the agricultural sector.
Among the recommendations given by the executive secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, is to deepen regional integration and maintain the vision of achieving a united Latin American block, but for this, several barriers must be overcome, both commercial and political.
It is expected that the region will strengthen, and that as a result of the hard blow that the arrival of covid-19 means, governments will be able to evaluate more objectively the key points that must be strengthened, and achieve the consolidation of goals to mitigate deficiencies in regarding employment, housing, health and especially education. Despite the problems, Latin America and the Caribbean have a lot of potential, with a population of around 650 million and a relatively young workforce compared to Europe, in addition to great natural resources and attractive tourism potential, the region has everything to gain if the right economic and social policies are applied, as well as a common convergence between the right and left ideas that create so much disparity in politics.