La Jornada – Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean: emergency measures cut poverty increase by 50%
Alicia Barsena, Executive Secretary, announced that the $ 86 billion that Latin America spent on emergency measures last year reduced poverty growth by half and a quarter of extreme poverty, compared to what had been expected. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (CEPAL).
However, the economic recession in 2020 pushed 22 million people into poverty and 8 million into extreme poverty. As a result, 209 million people have at least one basic need – practically one in three people in Latin America – and 78 million cannot afford the minimum food basket, even if they spend all of their income on it.
Parsina explained that the year 2020 “is marked by a crisis of historical proportions”; But although the 7.7 percent decline in GDP last year implied a 10-year decline in economic growth, the setback in poverty indicators is two decades.
“We found the epidemic in a very bad situation.” He considered that the low growth and the region defined in inequality added to the crisis, which multiplied the gaps and structural gaps in access to public goods such as health, education and social protection.
He said that among those pending work, given that the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean estimated the loss of 2.7 million companies in the region and with it 8 million fewer formal jobs.
With regard to the vaccination program, Parsina stressed that “it is not enough to get the vaccine, what is coming is a huge challenge, to get the vaccine to people”, and that it reaches all countries and does not remain only in developed countries that have already hoarded.
The UK has more than five doses for each of the two required, and Chile has about one-fifth; The United States and the European Union by nearly four and Japan over two. Mexico and Argentina have so far had one contract per capita contracts, the rest of the Latin American countries are counted below.
At the same meeting, Luis-Philippe Lopez-Calva, Regional Director of the United Nations Development Program for Latin America and the Caribbean, stressed that the region is the most affected by the epidemic in both economic and health terms. You will also see social consequences.
In this sense, he stressed that in 2021, a balance should be made between obtaining and distributing vaccines as quickly as possible; Wise and credible financial management, but also socially ambitious; Seek funding, revitalize education systems, protect health and digitization.
He added that all this “is not to return to what it was before, but to build something better, more productive, comprehensive and more flexible.”
In turn, Mexico’s Minister of Social Welfare, Javier May, said that a “new generation of social policies” is needed to promote the social inclusion of the most vulnerable groups and to rescue those left behind through targeting. For this, it will be necessary to strengthen social protection systems and a minimum income.
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