Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos has pledged to lift one and half million citizens out of extreme poverty over the next three years.
‘We want to lift 350 thousand families, or 1.5 million Colombians, who barely survive, out of extreme poverty,’ he said.
According to the president, the current poverty rate, 12.3%, will be reduced to 9% by the end of 2014 by increasing employment opportunities.
Santos said his aim was to take out 113 thousand families out of poverty in the next year, almost one-third of his four-year goal.
Santos expects a “deep commitment” from his mayors and governors, in the fight against extreme poverty. ‘This fight cannot be won from Bogota without you fighting like generals in your regions,’ he added.
He detailed plans for a so-called “Path of Prosperity” — a scheme in which families in extreme poverty with the most potential for empowerment will be identified.
The head of state also announced a $200 million would be made available for a new social program entitled “Colombia Responds,” which will assign money for social infrastructure and income-generating projects in 51 municipalities.