UN: Poverty Reduction Slowing in Latin America; Costa Rica unchanged

la carpio poverty

La Carpio, a low income neighborhood of San Jose (Archive Photo)

December 6th, 2013 (VOA) The United Nations says a weaker economic performance and rising food costs are slowing poverty reduction in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The annual report from the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean, or ECLAC, says 164 million people, or 28 percent of the region’s population, are still considered poor, with 68 million living in extreme poverty. That is nearly unchanged from last year.

The panel’s last annual report said growing job income and economic growth helped lift a million people out of poverty to the lowest rate in more than three decades.

Now, it is calling for governments to enact policies to encourage growth while reducing the huge gap between rich and poor.

ECLAC says on average, 20 percent of the households with the lowest incomes in the region get just 5 percent of a country’s total income, while the wealthiest 20 percent of households get 47 percent of the total income.

Latin American countries with the biggest reductions in poverty levels since 2011 were led by Venezuela with the rate dropping by 5.6 percentage points to 23.9 percent. Others included Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

Levels remained unchanged in Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Uruguay, while poverty rose slightly in Mexico to 37 percent from 36 percent a year earlier.

The Chile-based U.N. agency says a significant number of people are still affected by issues such as lack of access to drinking water or appropriate sanitation.

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    • roberto

      No shyte…sherlock

    • disgusted

      Luxury taxes on houses going into the consultant pocket and pennies into the project. This is no surprise here. Right lady Laura??

    • roberto

      $35,000,000 payment to the Brazilian company OAS for NOT building the SJ-San Ramon road. That only comes to about $8.00 for every Costa Rican man, woman and child, rich and ‘poor’. Right Lady Laura?

      • NorthendFool

        Why dont they continue to pay OAS to build the road as planned and not charge a toll? At least we would have something to show for the 35Mil.

    • Ken Morris

      In fairness to CR (and even Lady Laura), some probably large portion of the country’s poor are Nicas who come here precisely because they are poor and lack opportunities at home. It’s hard for a country to reduce the percentage of its population living in poverty when more poor people keep moving in. CR probably does a little better than the numbers suggest.

      • Frank Castle


        See, you can be positive about Costa Rica! Just kidding….Some of the other posters here make valid points.

        The government could be more efficient by asking THE PEOPLE what they need, in the way of improvements, that are reasonably fesible. The OAS toll road could have been built with the government covering half the cost and then, only charging half the toll rate. This would have been a good compromise.

        Also, someone in this government, not on the take, needs to survey the bridge problem and make a PERMANENT fix, not constant temporary ones. They need to use proper engineering techniques and build the bridges to LAST through the most rainy of rainy seasons. This would save a lot of money in the long run.

        Prefab housing could help a lot of folks too get out of poverty. The Costa Rican government could partner with a group like Habitat for Humanity to make this happen. At least in Costa Rica, if you build good, strong, earthquake resist homes, you won’t have a military attack blowing them up so it’s a good investment.

        Just some ideas.

        Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and other Season’s Greetings to all of you down there. Hope to return that way within a year or two, bringing a car down for an eventual relocation soon afterward.

    • Yeims

      We need bigger government, more taxes, Right, lady Laura?