Coronavirus

With the state absent, low-income communities banding together to fight Covid-19

One São Paulo favela has taken upon itself to provide a robust coronavirus response for its residents, other communities across Latin America are following suit

With the state absent, low-income communities banding together to fight Covid-19
Santa Marta favela in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: Kocheise_Lea and Lennart/Shutterstock

In 2019, a report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (Eclac) showed the extent of inequality in the continent: until last year, over 191 million people were living in poverty​​​​​​ — which represents 31.8 percent of the region’s total population. The portion living in extreme poverty reached a stunning 11.5 percent. In almost all cases, the state has failed these needy populations.

Now, with the worsening of the Covid-19 pandemic, Latin America is fearing a region-wide collapse of its national health systems. In Ecuador, where poor and misinformed people in the Guaya region are disrespecting quarantine...

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