Meanwhile, after more than a decade of steady growth, Latin America saw dramatic economic contraction over the past year. The region’s economy shrank an estimated 7.4 percent, the worst downturn since 1821, when South America was still plunged in its bloody wars of independence from Spain, according to the Inter-American Development Bank’s annual report published in March. More than 100 million children in Latin America may be unable to attend school. Food insecurity is on the rise. In Brazil, 19 million people, or about 1 in every 11 citizens, are going hungry, the Wall Street Journal reported.