Almost half of Colombians are living below the poverty line, a representative of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) announced Tuesday.
Colombia’s UNFPA representative Tania Patriota explained that 21 million of the 46 million people in Colombia are living in poverty, various media reported.
Patriota urged the Colombian government to “promote policies to respond to the problems of those who are most vulnerable, including women, adolescents and older adults.”
She said that one factor that continues to perpetuate poverty in Colombia is the high rate of teen pregnancies. She suggested implementing more family planning centers to educate women to let them know they can and should wait to become mothers.
“The most recent statistics indicate that one of every five pregnant Colombian women is under 18 years old, a very high statistic for the adolescent population.”
The representative said Colombia’s unemployment is also to blame for the country’s inability to pull itself out of debt. Although the unemployment rate has dropped recently, it is still hovering around 11%.
The announcement comes just three months after a report that Colombia is falling behind it’s Millennium Development Goal of halving the population affected by extreme poverty by 2015.