Updated 01:25 PM EST, Wed, Jan 20, 2021

Can Brazil Handle Hosting the 2016 Olympics Amidst Economic Crisis?

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Like many other countries in South America, Brazil is in an economic crisis. The seventh largest economy in the world experienced a recession last year, and already, figures showed that over 1.5 million jobs have already been destroyed. As if that's not bad enough, Economic Times reported that the downturn is going to last throughout the year, as well.

An Economist at the Sao Paulo University, Manuel Enriquez, said, "This year started with very bad news. The economic outlook for Brazil is very bad for 2016 and also for the year after."

While other countries are trying to pull their economy together, Brazil is facing a bigger problem: it's supposed to invest a lot in beautifying itself as it is going to be home to the Summer Olympics this year.

However, with high commodity prices, investor pullouts and currency devaluation, it looks like the country is not going to go into the Olympics as officially planned, especially with the pressures of inflation and high interest rates putting the government in a bind with the central banks.

The Wall Street Journal noted that Brazil already hosted the World Cup a few years back, which means that they know how much money it will cost them. But currently, the situation has become so dire that in December, organizers of the games announced that air conditioning for the athletes will be dropped from the budget, unless the participating country pays the bill. This caused a lot of ridicule, which led the country to reverse the decision, despite the fact that it will cost a lot of money that they don't have.

On top of the financial crisis, Brazil is also trying to deal with the Zika virus epidemic, which is said to be linked to shrinking babies' heads. Quartz reported that last year, as many as 1.5 million cases were registered. In addition, the disease has been spreading, which means that the government, on top of all the usual expenses in hosting an international event, will have to spend on health precautions. To do so, daily sweeps are going to be performed during the games, but fumigation will only be used in extreme cases.

Then there's also the issue of security, which hasn't been addressed at the moment, as Brazil is struggling to keep its economy together. However, it seems that the country is making all stops to ensure the Games continue without a hitch. The momentum that makes the event thrilling and unstoppable is here to stay, and it's a fever that most countries, even the economically challenged Brazil, cannot ignore.

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