WORLD Argentines march to demand food aid


Argentines march to demand food aid


08:55, March 19, 2021

A woman holds a placard that reads "food for the soup kitchens" while marching with piqueteros and social organizations to Casa Rosada government palace to demand more aid to survive the crisis caused during the lockdown imposed by the government against the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19, in Buenos Aires, on June 11, 2020.JUAN MABROMATA / AFP

Thousands of people marched in Argentina's capital Thursday to demand food aid as the economy has battled the fallout of the coronavirus epidemic.

They marched under the banner of organizations representing the poor and unemployed, with the backing of leftist political parties, to the Plaza de Mayo in Buenos Aires, bearing placards outside the seat of government proclaiming: "Enough hunger. Real jobs."

The protest was dubbed "el polentazo" in reference to the staple maize porridge polenta many have found increasingly difficult to afford.

The global pandemic has killed some 54,000 people in Argentina out of about two million recorded infections, and public health experts have warned of a second wave on the horizon.

At the same time, official data reports unemployment over 10 percent and poverty affecting more than 40 percent of Argentina's population of 44 million.

Inflation reached almost eight percent in January and February this year, and the economy contracted by 10 percent in 2020 when coronavirus shut-downs hit many economic sectors hard.

"There are a lot of people under the poverty line, even those who have formal work and those who have informal work," said Monica Sulio, leader of the Socialist Workers Movement.

"It's getting worse. Old people come, children, and we cannot cope often in the soup kitchens," added Noemi Avalos of the FOL protest movement.

"Sometimes we cannot give... a plate of food and it is very sad," she said.

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