Food prices have risen sharply following Russia's assault on Ukraine, says economist Marcelo Neri, even though the Latin American country is one of the world's top agricultural goods producers.

It is the first time that food insecurity in Latin America's largest food producer has surpassed the world average since the data tracking began in 2006.
It is the first time that food insecurity in Latin America's largest food producer has surpassed the world average since the data tracking began in 2006. (Reuters)

The risk of going hungry in Brazil is higher than ever, as the percentage of people unable to afford food for themselves or their family at some point during the last 12 months rose to a record 36 percent in 2021, from 30 percent in 2019, according to a new study.

It is the first time that food insecurity in Latin America's largest food producer has surpassed the world average since the data tracking began in 2006, according to a new analysis of Gallup World Poll data released on Wednesday by the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV), a Brazilian academic institution.

Brazilians are facing this dire situation even though the country is one of the world's top agricultural goods producers.

Food prices have risen sharply following Russia's assault on Ukraine, said economist Marcelo Neri, director of FGV's Social Policies Center and the study's author.

"It is a worrying situation, the highest level of the series," Neri told the Reuters news agency.

Gender gap

The increase in food insecurity among the poorest 20 percent in Brazil during the pandemic rose to 75 percent in 2021, from 53 percent in 2019, nearing levels in Zimbabwe, which has the highest level of food insecurity in the world at 80 percent, the data showed.

The study also said that the gender gap in food insecurity in 2021 was six times greater in Brazil than the global average.

Source: Reuters