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ARGENTINA | 19-03-2021 00:57

Thousands march through Buenos Aires to demand food aid, jobs

Thousands of people marched in Buenos Aires on Thursday to demand food aid as the economy has battled the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

Thousands of people marched in Buenos Aires on Thursday to demand food aid and jobs, demanding help given the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

They marched under the banner of organisations 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 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 40.9 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 Movimiento Socialista de los Trabajadores.

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

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

– TIMES/AFP

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