A research paper published on Thursday claims that poverty throughout Colombia was reduced in between July 2011 and June 2012, but that millions of households are still on incomes deeming them poor.
The report, developed by Colombia’s national statistics office DANE, says that 14 million Colombians were living in poverty between July 2011 and June 2012 according to its poverty measure. According to the study, 32.2% of the country’s population was living in poverty throughout the same period, representing a 0.7% decrease when compared to the previous study.
A household containing four people is classified as poor if total household income per month is below $430. The threshold is slightly higher for people living in more urban areas.
Jorge Humberto Peña , coordinator of the Agency of Employment in the Sena district of Valle de Cauca says that social assistance programs have played a key role in lowering the poverty rate. Access to training and employment programs, such as those provided by Families in Action and Youth in Action, are also said to have been a factor in reducing the poverty rate.
Various business leader hailed the findings and claimed that poverty reduction has in part been driven by job creation in the private sector. Harold Lozada, president of the Annatto, Valle del Cauca, Board of the Association of Travel Agencies and Tourism, said: “We have noticed that there are more players in the tourism sector and that gives the possibility to increase competition in prices and creating jobs.”
However, the study also showed that extreme poverty in Colombia stands at just over 10%. Figures from a similar DANE report published in July shows that little progress has been made for the one in ten Colombians who live in extreme poverty. A household with a monthly income below $195 is classified as extremely poor.
Writing about the July study in Colombia Politics, Kevin Howlett pointed to the disproportionate levels of extreme poverty in rural districts such as the Choco: “over 40% of inhabitants of the remote Choco have a monthly income of less than 91,000 pesos (47 US dollars).”
- ¿Cómo le está ganando Colombia la batalla a la pobreza? (El Pais)
- Hay 14 millones 662 mil personas en situación de pobreza (32,2%) (Informe de Prensa)
- Colombia´s poverty rates shock as millions on 1.5 USD a day (Colombia Politics)