27.06.2020 ‘No Food, No Water, No Masks and No Gloves': Migrant Farm Workers in Spain at Crisis Point.
Migrant workers on Spanish farms that provide fruit and vegetables for UK supermarkets are trapped in dire conditions under lockdown, living in cardboard and plastic shelters without food or running water. Thousands of workers, many of them undocumented, live in settlements between huge greenhouses on farms in the southern Spanish provinces of Huelva and Almeria, key regions for European supply chains. Failure of employers provide basic rights has for years created dire circumstances for the inhabitants of the settlements. Now, the pandemic has pushed the situation to crisis point. The workers fear they are unprotected against the virus, both in the unhygienic settlements and when working side-by-side on the farms. Spain is the main fruit and vegetables producer in the EU. Around half of the goods – from salad picked in greenhouses to citrus fruits – are for the export market. Nearly all, 93%, goes to the EU market: Germany France, the UK. In Huelva, workers are living in a migrant settlement in conditions that rival the worst one has seen anywhere in the world. They are kilometres away from water, and live without electricity or adequate sanitation. Many have lived there for years and can afford to pay rent, but said no one will accept them as tenants. They are earning as little as €30 (£26) per day … In 2018-19 the strawberry crop in Huelva was worth €533 million euros. Credit: in the now.
Poverty deprives people of adequate education, health care and of life's most basic necessities- safe living conditions (including clean air and clean drinking water) and an adequate food supply. The developed (industrialized) countries today account for roughly 20 percent of the world's population but control about 80 percent of the world's wealth.
Poverty and pollution seem to operate in a vicious cycle that, so far, has been hard to break. Even in the developed nations, the gap between the rich and the poor is evident in their respective social and environmental conditions.