UN Agency: Projects have assisted 83,000 rural families to escape poverty in last 25 years

More than 83,000 rural families in Peru have escaped poverty over the last 25 years as a result of financing for small businesses provided by the United Nation’s International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD), state news agency Andina reported.

The agency’s regional director for Latin America and the Caribbean, Roberto Haudry, said that figure  includes 51,000 families from Peru’s Andean highlands who were living in extreme poverty, a condition in which individuals are unable to meet basic needs for water, food, sanitation, shelter and health care.

The IFAD investments have totaled $120 million over that time, which resulted in further investments of $400 million for the national government, municipalities, and local communities.

In the next five years, the agency plans to provide a further $30 million for co-financing further projects in the Peruvian highlands. Haudry said it is particularly important to invest in projects led by women and youth.

“What we want to do in coordination with the ministries of agriculture, as well as economy and finance is to transfer the resources to municipalities that have valid grass-roots initiatives so they can co-finance business projects in a community through their own mechanisms for assigning the resources at a local level,” Haudry was quoted as saying.

Development efforts in Peru have resulted in some positive results in life expectancy, literacy, education and family income over the years, however widespread inequality still persists between the urban centers on the coast and regions in the highlands and Amazon basin.

A recent report by the UN Development Program (UNDP), for example, said Peru’s inequality in development has been a result of a lack of public resources and a dispersed population. It added that government services – such as healthcare – still fail to reach all regions, particularly in the country’s central-south highlands.

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