Peru Maintains Poverty Reduction Target Despite Global Uncertainty

Peru’s government said it is maintaining its poverty reduction target despite growing uncertainty about the health of the global economy and its implications for the Andean nation, state news agency Andina reported.

“Clearly the international context is limiting, but we have ambitious goals to eradicate extreme poverty and lower monetary poverty below 20 percent, which is today at 31 percent,” said Economy and Finance Minister Luis Miguel Castilla. “Those goals will not be modified.”

While poverty rates in Peru fell significantly during the past 10 years as the country enjoyed strong economic growth thanks to stable fiscal and monetary policies backed by soaring metal prices, President Ollanta Humala took office in late-July on promises to improve social inclusion.

Humala, a 49-year-old former Army officer, got his main support during the presidential campaign from Peru’s poorer, rural sectors by, among other things, pledging to implement social programs for those most in need.

Castilla said that the government may implement some of the programs ahead of schedule.

“Of course, we can bring forward the social programs that are an important part of the government’s platform,” he said.

Castilla said the government will implement measures to cushion the impact from a possible crisis due to economic troubles in Europe and the United States.

Many economists say that Peru is well-positioned to face a crisis, but it could be hit particularly hard if there is a major slowdown from China.

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