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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Poverty reduction stops
Latinamerica Press
12/18/2013
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New ECLAC report points out that 164 million people in the region live in poverty.

Although the rate of poverty in the region has been stable in 2013 with respect to 2012, the trend is not the same for people in extreme poverty. The number of indigent people rose from 66 million to 68 million due to the higher increase in food costs relative to general inflation, stated the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) in its report Social Panorama of Latin America and the Caribbean 2013, published on December 5.

“Since 2002, poverty in Latin America has fallen 15.7 percentage points and extreme poverty 8.0 points, but recent figures show a slowdown,” said Alicia Barcena, Executive Secretary of ECLAC, at the presentation of the report. “The only acceptable number of people living in poverty is zero, which is why we call on countries to carry out structural economic changes to achieve sustained growth with greater equality.”

The report explores multidimensional approaches to evaluating poverty.

“A multidimensional measurement of poverty limited to unsatisfied basic needs shows that shortages like the lack of access to drinking water or to appropriate sanitation systems still affect a significant number of people in the region. That makes one wonder if the public policies intended to overcome poverty put enough emphasis on the achievement of minimum standards,” says the report, which also analyzes three aspects of well-being:  space, time, and co-existence, and examines problems such as atmospheric pollution and the high murder rate.

Regarding income distribution, the ECLAC report points out that “high inequality still defines the region in the international context.”

“The poorest quintile of the population (20 percent of households with the lowest incomes) gets just 5 percent of a country´s total income, with extremes ranging from less than 4 percent in Honduras, Paraguay and the Dominican Republic, to 10 percent in Uruguay. Meanwhile, the share of the wealthiest quintile is 47 percent on average, with that percentage rising from 35 percent in Uruguay to 55 percent in Brazil,” maintains ECLAC.
—Latinamerica Press.

LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
People in poverty 2012 (percent)

 

Country
Poverty
Indigence
El Salvador
45.3
13.5
Dominican Repúblic
41.2
20.9
Mexico
37.1
14.2
Colombia
32.9
10.4
Ecuador
32.2
12.9
Peru
25.8
6.0
Venezuela
23.9
9.7
Brazil
18.6
5.4
Costa Rica
17.8
7.3
Uruguay
5.9
1.1
Argentina
4.3
1.7

Source: ECLAC


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