Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Despite some aid, poor Colombians fall through cracks during coronavirus lockdown

CoronavirusApr 09, 2020 05:17PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. The spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Soacha 2/2

By Nelson Bocanegra

SOACHA, Colombia (Reuters) - Sandra Sierra is praying for someone to bring her and her family food amid Colombia's coronavirus quarantine. Her teenage son Kevin is at higher risk of serious illness if infected with COVID-19, the respiratory ailment caused by the virus, which has killed at least 90,000 worldwide.

Kevin, 16, has obliterative bronchiolitis, which causes airway inflammation and means he is connected permanently to an oxygen tank.

The family is among many low-income Colombians who have yet to receive help from the government, despite promises no one would go hungry during the more than month-long lockdown and additional payments to those on welfare programs.

The quarantine, which restricts most people to outings for food shopping and financial transactions, is set to run until April 27. Colombia has more than 2,000 confirmed new coronavirus infections and 55 deaths.

"The aid hasn't reached us here, now we don't have food and my husband is out of work," said Sierra, 52, who herself is unable to work because of joint problems.

Her son, she said, "is low on defenses. I haven't been able to give him even a piece of fish or chicken - he needs them."

Some people in the working-class satellite city of Soacha on the outskirts of Bogota have taken to hanging red cloth in their windows as a signal they need food and other necessities.

The hope is that neighbors who still have food will see it and share with those who do not, said Mario Palacios, a community representative for the La Maria neighborhood.

Though the local government has distributed some groceries, it is not enough, he added.

The area is home to informal construction workers, people who sell food and candy on the street, those who clean windshields at stoplights in exchange for coins and people who collect recycling.

Many told Reuters they are not registered with any government welfare program.

Some 27% of people in Latin America's fourth-largest economy were living in poverty in 2018, while another 7.2% were indigent, according to the government statistics agency DANE.

National unemployment figures of more than 12% could worsen significantly because of the lockdown, economic analysts said.

Colombia has so far reported over 2,000 cases of the disease and 55 deaths.

"We hope they will have us in mind for groceries," said Heidy Mesa, who lives in a rented house with 14 people from various families, including five children. "We aren't asking for much, but a pound of rice could last two or three days."

There could be looting if people are not fed, Mesa said.

"You can say that you respect (the quarantine), you can respect health, but what do you do about hunger?," she asked.

Despite some aid, poor Colombians fall through cracks during coronavirus lockdown
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email