World Bank: 570,000 Peruvians escaped poverty in 2009

Nearly 570,000 Peruvians were able to escape poverty in 2009 despite affects from the global financial crisis, according to a report by the World Bank and Peru’s statistics and technology bureau INEI.

“The results are very positive, because they reveal that the tendency from the last few years was maintained with respect to a decrease in the country’s poverty,” the World Bank’s regional director for Bolivia, Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela, Felipe Jaramillo, was reported saying by state news agency Andina.

According to the report, 290,000 people in Peru escaped poverty, while another 279,000 left conditions of extreme poverty.

Jaramillo said part of the explanation for the drop in poverty last year was the governments policy during the global financial crisis.

“It is necessary to point out that economic growth was not the only variable that explained the decline in poverty in the country, but also the response the Peruvian government had during the crisis.”

Peru’s government increased jobs through investments in infrastructure, which made up for shortfalls from the private sector. They also prioritized social programs, primarily in the rural areas in the highlands.

A representative from the Washington D.C.-based Inter-American Development Bank, Marco Robles, said that if the tendency continues, Peru’s poverty level could be reduced to 30% in 2011.

Despite a drop in Peru’s poverty rate, there are still widespread inequities between regions.

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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