COLUMBUS, Ohio — As COVID-19 continues to ripple throughout the world, poverty in Mexico is reaching record levels. With 45% of its population living in poverty, this percentage has drastically spiked since the onset of COVID-19. Comprised of 31 states and a federal capital, some areas of Mexico are being hit even harder by pandemic-induced poverty. Quintana Roo, for instance, saw a poverty spike of 23.1% as poverty jumped to 51.5% during the third quarter of 2020. COVID-19’s impact on poverty in Mexico is harsh but there are organizations working to improve the issue.
Job Loss Intensifies Poverty
In April 2020, when the government of Mexico shut down nonessential activities in an effort to slow down the spread of COVID-19, just over a million formal sector jobs were lost. Affecting primarily low-income families, this massive loss of jobs worsened poverty in Mexico for already struggling households. Elsewhere, such as in the vast informal sector, wages have decreased 6.7% in comparison to 2019 wages. Poverty rates in Mexico have not been the best over the last few decades but COVID-19 job loss has further exacerbated poverty through the financial instability that it has created for many families.
Job Creation Brings Hope
Just over a third of the formal sector jobs primarily lost during April and May 2020 have since been recovered. In 2020, roughly 92,000 new jobs were created in August, 114,000 in September and October saw a staggering 200,641 new jobs created. This increase in job creation correlates with the ongoing process of many states reopening and shows that the economy is starting to bounce back. As low-income families have been primarily affected by COVID-19 job loss, positive change is set to occur.
COVID-19’s Impact on Poverty In Mexico
Mexico was hit hard by COVID-19 with poverty rates reaching unfortunate record highs. When the government of Mexico was forced to shut down the economy, the massive loss of jobs directly correlated with the sudden influx of poverty. As the economy begins to bounce back through reopening, however, both the economy and poverty are on course to reach healthier levels. Direct Relief, an NGO aiding the lives of those affected by disaster, disease and poverty, recently donated one million surgical masks from the U.S. to 155 public health care facilities in Mexico. The donation adds to the more than 330,000 masks, 10,000 goggles, 40,000 face shields, 489,000 gloves and 48,000 gowns and coveralls delivered already by Direct Relief to Mexican hospitals and nonprofits responding to the pandemic. COVID-19’s impact on poverty in Mexico has been severe but with organizations to aid the COVID-19 crisis, Mexico’s road to recovery looks hopeful.