19.11.2009 -

ECLAC: crisis will throw nine million people into poverty

© UNESCO/Nelson Muchagata

In 2009, the number of poor people in Latin America will jump by 1.1% and of pauper, by 0.8%

Brasília, 20/11/2009 – The current financial crisis affecting the world will throw 9 million people into poverty in this Region in 2009, according to the ECLAC report "Social Panorama of Latin America 2009", which was presented on Thursday, 19 November.

In the study, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) foresees the increase of poverty in the region by 1.1%, and of extreme poverty by 0.8%, compared to 2008. Thus, the number of poor people will rise from 71 to 76 million (13.7% of the population).

These results indicate a change in the trends of poverty reduction that has been achieved in the Region. The nine million people represent almost one quarter of the population who had overcome poverty between 2002 and 2008 (41 million), thanks to higher economic growth, to the expansion of social spending, to a booming population and to better distributions, according to the study.

The report was presented by the Executive Secretary of ECLAC, Alicia Bárcena, who underlined the urgent need of the Region to work on a new long-term standard of social protection. “We cannot say we have achieved as much as possible between 2002 and 2008. There were not six years lost. However, the increase of poverty drives us to act. We must redesign the social protection programs, with a strategic vision and long-term measures that can harness the human capital and protect the income of families and vulnerable groups”, she said.

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