The Covid-19 pandemic is set to wreak havoc on Latin American economies. The World Bank currently expects Brazil’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to plunge by 8 percent in 2020, while the unemployment rate hovers at around 12 percent.
Three months after the first Covid-19 cases were confirmed in Brazil, President Jair Bolsonaro continues to downplay the severity of the pandemic — which he has repeatedly referred to as a “little flu.” While the federal government has been paying out a BRL 600 emergency salary for informal workers and low-income families since April, as The Brazilian Report has shown, many vulnerable communities have been more or less abandoned by the state.
“The social and economic consequences of the pandemic will be terrible,” warned Dr. Julio A. Berdegué this week, assistant director-general at the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization. As the situation worsens, many Brazilians are taking matters into their own hands.