January 20, 2021

America pushes for an integral effort against poverty and continuous policies

America pushes for an integral effort against poverty and continuous policies

With an impulse to the integral approach of the measures to mitigate the extreme poverty in the American continent and with the intention of obtaining the continuity of public policies, the Fourth Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development of the OAS began this Thursday in Guatemala.

At the opening ceremony, the Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, called on countries to address poverty in a "multidimensional" way to "find solutions" against a scourge that "affects human rights , democracy (and) integral development ".

The secretary asked the representatives of the Ministries of Development of the continent to take up the lines of the previous meeting, held in 2016 in Paraguay, to deepen the agreements and achieve a "joint road", always from the point of view of the " integrality ".

In that sense, the director of the Social Development Division of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Lais Abramo, said that poverty and inequality can not be "confronted" without first having made an effort to intersectoriality ".

He assured that it is a matter of "public policy", which should have the "continuity" of the States and the construction of "basic consensus" on poverty, such as the fact that child labor "is not acceptable".

In addition, he noted that countries, as well as investing in programs that must be expanded, must combat poverty "changing the prejudices" that fall on it.

The discussion of the central table of the event advanced with presentations by each member about their success stories or examples to help understand the particular situation, which is shared in other corners.

As the representation of Nicaragua, which proposed that indicators of poverty also focus on its protagonists and not only on the compliance of governments, which "would allow" to know "more thoroughly the production of poverty in the medium and long term" and He recalled that there are still 'hidden' issues such as families that have not recovered from the effects of Hurricane Mitch, 20 years ago.

And while Bolivia boasted of programs that have led them to reduce poverty and maintain a sustainable growth of 5 percent of annual GDP, Colombia questioned the use of public resources to subsidize low-income people, because "they no longer want to leave informality and they want to continue being subsidized. "

Guatemala stressed that at the end of the IV Meeting of Ministers and High Authorities of Social Development, America "will adopt an action plan" that will have "the concrete commitments that each member state must carry out" to advance "en bloc" towards consolidation of "fairer and more equitable societies".

For her part, the senior economist of the Global Poverty and Equity Practice of the World Bank, María Ana Lugo, maintained that between 1990 and 2015 the global rate of extreme poverty and the number of poor in the world was reduced by 25 percent. , which means that currently there are more than 1,000 million fewer people in extreme poverty.

A symptom that could be an example of "good practices" but that from 2015 to date has "slowed down", after the Asian region concluded its drastic reduction of extreme poverty "eliminating it", in contrast to the African one, which persists.

However, on this side of the world, poverty reached its maximum level in the last 10 years, according to the report "Social Panorama of Latin America 2018" of ECLAC.

10.2 percent of the population, that is, 62 million people, live in poverty. While the proportion of the poor remained stable, affecting a total of 184 million, 30.2 percent of the 632 million inhabitants living in Latin America, 645.5 million with the inclusion of the Caribbean.


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