tirsdag 25. mai 2021

Covid made the Philippines' hunger crisis worse. So why does hardly anyone want a vaccine?

With nine children and one grandchild, life was hard for Mona Liza Vito and her family even before the pandemic. Vito used to work long hours peeling sacks of garlic, making about $2 a day, while her husband worked as a day laborer in construction. But now their work has dried up, a casualty of an economic downturn in the Philippines after multiple coronavirus lockdowns. And trying to feed so many mouths has become a daily struggle for survival.

"We don't have anything for my children's food, for our daily expenses," Vito said. "Sometimes, at night, we don't have anything to eat, we can only wait for the next day."

Vito lives in Baseco Compound, one of the poorest areas of Manila, where almost 60,000 people are crammed onto a patch of reclaimed land in the capital's port area. The sprawling settlement relies almost exclusively on the economic activity around the dock -- most of which has ground to a halt. And the lockdowns have included bans on fishing in the sea, a lifeline for many.