UNDP: Regional inequities persist in Peru despite economic growth
A report by the United Nations Development Program finds that Peru still has deep inequities between regions and populations despite strong economic growth, daily El Comercio reported.
The UNDP says that while life expectancy, literacy, education, and family income have all generally improved in Peru, differences between the capital Lima and regions in the Andean highlands and the Amazon basin are still pronounced.
According to the UN agency, 760,000 people in Peru still do not have identification from the government, such as a birth certificate. This prevents those residents from accessing education, health care, and government assistance programs.
With regards to access to health services, in Lima and Arequipa there are 26 doctors for every 10,000 people, well above the World Health Organization’s recommended 16.6 doctors per 10,000. However in Huancavelica department, located in Peru’s central south highlands and considered one of the poorest regions in the country, there are only 5.7 doctors per 10,000 people.
The same inequality between Lima and Huancavelica is also seen with regards to access to water and sewage. In total, 32 percent of Peruvian homes do not have access to water or drainage. In Lima, only 7.4 percent of homes do not have that service, while in Huancavelica the rate reaches 80 percent.
Part of the reason for inequality in development is an inadequacy of public resources and a dispersed population, the UNDP says.
The UN agency said that government services, like education and health care, simply do not reach all Peruvians. It called on candidates for this year’s regional and municipal elections to create plans to address inequities.