Peru poverty could decrease to 17 percent if economy maintains growth – MCLCP

Poverty in Peru could be reduced by half over the next five years if economic growth is maintained at an annual rate of 6.5 percent, according to Federico Arnillas, the president of the Mesa de Concertacion de Lucha contra la Pobreza, or MCLCP.

Over the past five years, Peru’s poverty rate has dropped from about 50 percent to just over 30 percent, according to government figures. The decline has come as Peru has experienced strong economic growth, including an 8.8 percent increase in the GDP last year.

Peru’s government forecasts that the GDP will expand by 6.5 percent this year. Officials have said the slowdown is largely due to uncertainty in the business community over plans by the incoming administration under President-elect Ollanta Humala, whose inauguration is scheduled for July 28.

Humala won his campaign by promising greater social inclusion in Peru’s economic growth.

“With an average annual growth of 6.5 percent in the next five years, what we can do is decrease the monetary poverty from 31.5 percent to about 17 percent,” state news agency Andina reported Arnillas as saying.

Arnillas said it will be important to maintain in their positions current civil servants involved in poverty reduction programs so as not to delay the implementation of social programs and training of new officials.

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