Mar 15, 2021
According to the U.N.’s World Food Program, 1.7 million people in the countries of El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras urgently need food aid right now, and the situation is getting worse by the day. By mid-summer, the non-profit group CARE says that one third of the people in Honduras alone will face severe hunger.
These countries have experienced five years of drought that experts link to ongoing climate change. Food production plummeted, as did the production of commodities like coffee that farmers could sell to raise a little money to save for a crisis.
Then these countries imposed COVID lockdowns. Even survival strategies like colleting cans to recycle became impossible—all as food prices rose.
In the middle of the lockdowns, two hurricanes hit Central America in the fall of 2020. In many places, they ruined the already-reduced harvest and flooded towns, destroying homes and the few possessions people had left.
The droughts, lockdowns, and hurricanes pushed many over the edge because they were already living in extreme poverty. And behind this region’s poverty lies more than a century of U.S. domination of the region. Yet the main U.S. policy in the midst of this human disaster is to protect U.S. interests and push the governments of all these countries to keep their people from leaving, with armed force when necessary.
The world produces more than enough food to feed everyone. Growing hunger in the midst of plenty—that is 21st-century capitalism in a nutshell.