Solidarity Policy in Defense of Life
Hope in Brazil’s Pandemic
The current Brazilian political situation together with the advance of coronavirus (COVID-19) has reinforced inequalities to food access in Brazil, generating uncertainties about satisfying basic human needs. Before the COVID-19 boom, Brazil had already been showing the effects of a long political and economic crisis, largely a result of the 2016 coup, which has led to more than 11% of the population unemployed and more than 40% in informal work.
Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro’s statements have made explicit his denialist policy by prioritizing the economy over life. Bolsonaro’s government has been undoing social security and food security policies through the reform of the social security system, the dismantling of public universities, the shutdown of agrarian reform, the disassembling of food supply policies, and the end of the National Council for Food and Nutrition Security. Bolsonaro starts from an authoritarian policy, based on the neoliberal ideology and fear in which agribusiness and other large private corporations are prioritized rather than strengthening the collective alternatives that could help ensure a healthy diet for the Brazilian population. The COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, adds another societal stress factor, bringing back food insecurity and “the ghost of hunger” in Brazil.
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