Archive for Huancavelica

20070720 – Perú aspira a una ambiciosa reducción de pobreza

Posted in 3 Cables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 8, 2009 by Farid Matuk

AFP – 20/07/2007 – 18:26 (GMT)

El gobierno del socialdemócrata Alan García, que se había fijado como meta reducir de 50 a 40% el índice de pobreza en el Perú, apuntará hacia un objetivo más ambicioso con base en un crecimiento más equitativo luego de que el jueves se anunciara, tras revisar cifras, que el indicador bajó a 44,5%.

El anuncio fue hecho por el ministro de Economía, Luis Carranza, quien dijo que las nuevas cifras oficiales de pobreza muestran una inesperada reducción pero también muestran que los beneficios del crecimiento que llegaron de la mano del modelo económico neoliberal han sido insuficientes y desiguales.

“Las cifras revisadas arrojan una reducción significativa que no anticipábamos. Eso obliga a revisar la meta de reducción de la pobreza porque ahora es poco ambicioso bajar a 40% entre 2006 y 2011”, dijo Carranza a la radio RPP el viernes.

“La meta era bajar la pobreza de 50%, que era lo que creíamos que existía. Ahora (con una cifra más favorable) necesitamos metas más ambiciosas”, acotó el ministro tras explicar que “los beneficios del crecimiento no han sido del todo balanceados entre la costa urbana y las zonas rurales donde la pobreza ha crecido. Eso es dramático”.

El gobierno de Alan García se había planteado como meta reducir la pobreza durante su gestión de cinco años, lo que implicaría que más de 3 millones dejen la condición de pobres al finalizar su gestión.

Las nuevas cifras oficiales de 44,5%, válidas para el año 2006, representan una caída de 4,2 puntos porcentuales respecto al nivel de 48,7% que el gobierno de Alejandro Toledo anunció el 2005 antes de concluir su mandato (2001-2006).

La mayor reducción se produjo en el área urbana donde pasó de 36,8% en el 2005 a 31,2% en 2006, en tanto que en el área rural prácticamente se estancó (de 70,9% a 69,3%).

“Más programas sociales: esa es la gran tarea de este gobierno”, añadió Carranza, quien explicó que “el gasto público no ha sido eficiente y debe ser compensado para acabar con los desbalances del crecimiento”.

La pobreza supera el 50% en 12 de las 24 regiones peruanas. Y en las cinco regiones surandinas los niveles de pobreza superan el 70% bordeando el 90% en el caso de Huancavelica.

García empezó su gestión prometiendo erradicar la pobreza en la sierra sur que le fue adversa en las elecciones de 2006 en provecho de su contendor: el nacionalista Ollanta Humala, candidato del presidente de Venezuela Hugo Chávez.

El actual ministro de Economía peruano no es el único que quedó asombrado con las cifras de menor pobreza presentadas el jueves: “Es inverosímil que la pobreza baje cuatro puntos en un año”, dijo Farid Matuk, ex jefe del Inei (Instituto nacional de estadística e informática) bajo el gobierno de Toledo.

“La variación equivale a una reducción de medio millón de pobres en un año, es inverosímil”, insistió Matuk, quien acusó al gobierno de García de maquillar cifras para capitalizar los réditos políticos.

“Solo si el Gobierno impulsa un programa decidido de desarrollo rural que asegure que los hogares rurales puedan aprovechar las ventajas que una economía en expansión genera, es que este reto puede hacerse realidad”, dijo el analista Javier Escobal, economista de la ONG Grade citado por el diario El Comercio.

Perú creció a tasas superiores al 5% desde el 2003 y se estima oficialmente que este año podría superar el 7% tras crecer en un 8% el 2006.

http://noticias.terra.com/articulo/html/act907711.htm

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PERU: Upbeat Poverty Stats Questioned

Posted in 3 Cables with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 27, 2009 by Farid Matuk

By Milagros Salazar

LIMA, May 29 (IPS) – The Peruvian government has announced that poverty fell by 5.2 percent in a year and forecasts that by 2015, less than 10 percent of the population will be below the poverty line. But experts and provincial governors cast doubt on these figures, given the unmet basic needs of peasant families.

“These poverty figures show that Peru’s economic model is working,” Finance Minister Luis Carranza said on Wednesday after announcing that according to the National Institute of Statistics and Informatics (INEI), the proportion of people living in poverty dropped from 44.5 percent of the population in 2006 to 39.3 percent in 2007.

This means that nearly 1.4 million Peruvians have escaped poverty, and is an improvement on the 42 percent poverty rate projected by the authorities. President Alan García celebrated the result, saying that he had not been over-optimistic when he promised that by the end of his term, in 2011, poverty would be reduced to 30 percent.

“I can tell the country that my aspirations go even further and that by 2015 we will have a poverty rate of less than 10 percent of the population, which means that Peru will no longer be a Third World country,” said the president, making a forecast that exceeds his five-year term of office.

Meanwhile, the proportion of people living in extreme poverty shrank from 16.1 percent to 13.7 percent of the population. The country’s Andean highlands, as opposed to the coastal and Amazon jungle regions of Peru, are home to 67.5 percent of the extreme poor.

The results of the 2007 census, to be released on Jun. 9, will give a more precise idea of how many people have been lifted out of poverty, and what extrapolations can be made, said the head of INEI, Renán Quispe.

President García did not make allowances in his calculations for population growth, which is occurring at a rate of 1.3 percent a year. According to the latest official statistics, 27.2 million people live in Peru.

But Farid Matuk, a former head of INEI, said that the figures given out by the authorities were not credible.

“In spite of the nine percent gross domestic product growth posted in 2007, the García administration could not possibly have managed to reduce poverty by nearly 10 percent in two years, when the previous government of President Alejandro Toledo only achieved a fall of six points in five years,” Matuk told IPS.

The expert also said the García administration has manipulated the figures by increasing the 2005 poverty rate by nearly four percentage points, from 44.5 to 48 percent of the population, by changing the method used to measure poverty.

“These results are completely illogical. I suspect that urban incomes have been inflated in order to show this reduction in poverty,” Matuk said.

That would explain that poverty was reported to have fallen most in urban areas, from 31.2 to 25.7 percent.

But the figures show apparent improvement in rural areas as well. Between 2005 and 2006 rural poverty fell by only 1.6 percent, but in 2007 it was reduced by 4.7 percent.

The highlands region showed the least progress in fighting rural poverty, with a total reduction of only 3.2 percent, while in coastal rural areas poverty dropped by up to 11 percent.

In Matuk’s view, the INEI experts may have overvalued the prices assigned to the food grown by rural families

Since many families, mainly in the rural areas, grow their own food or provide their own essential services, such as water, INEI assigns these goods a value which, in Matuk’s opinion, should be made public, in order to assess the reliability of their figures.

Based on this method, INEI set the poverty line at 229.4 soles (82 dollars) a month per person, and the extreme poverty line at 121.2 soles (43 dollars) a month. Persons consuming less than these amounts are considered poor, or extremely poor, respectively.

“It’s important to know what price was assigned to some foods like eggs and potatoes, and also, for example, what value was established for ‘self-rent’ in marginalised urban areas. So far none of this is known, so the poverty lines are a mystery,” he said.

In response to the criticism, INEI published this information on its web site on Tuesday, and experts are now analysing it. INEI emphasised that it had received advice from the World Bank and several research centres in drawing up its report.

“The results are in compliance with international guidelines, and most importantly, they are transparent,” said World Bank regional director Felipe Jaramillo.

Matuk said that one way of demonstrating that the economic growth achieved between 2006 and 2007 had no impact on the living conditions of the majority of the population is that hunger had only been reduced by just over one percent — “in other words, hardly at all” — over the same period.

For his part, Pedro Francke, an economist at the Pontificia Catholic University, concluded that the method used by INEI did not take into account higher food prices, and was only showing one side of poverty. He said the institute should use a much broader form of measurement that is not only monetary.

“The quality of health and education services that are provided to the population should be measured, as well as whether or not people have identity documents, and what access they have to democracy, for example,” said Francke.

Several provincial governors expressed doubts that poverty reduction in their area could have been as great as the statistics suggest, especially in provinces where historically over 70 percent of the people were considered poor.

“The statistics must have been manipulated, because people are still protesting in the streets due to the fact that they are not seeing the benefits of economic growth. INEI does not measure poverty in villages and towns in the rural areas, where the extreme poor are concentrated,” Hernán Fuentes, the governor of Puno, told IPS.

In his southern Andean region, poverty fell from 76.3 percent to 67.2 percent, according to the official figures.

The poverty rate also fell in Ayacucho, another southern Andean province, from 78.4 to 68.3 percent. “We were sure that poverty had fallen by three or four percent, but not to such an extent. I hope it’s true,” said Governor Ernesto Molina.

Loreto, in the northeast, is the province that apparently made the most progress, with a spectacular 11.7 percent drop in the poverty rate. Governor Iván Vásquez said that such a reduction was indeed possible, but mainly in large cities like Iquitos, the provincial capital, where over half of the population lives.

In Cuzco, however, the poverty rate rose from 49.9 to 57.4 percent. “The social programmes aren’t working, because out of every 10 soles the government allocates to fight malnutrition or poverty, six are swallowed up by bureaucracy,” said Governor Hugo González.

Huancavelica remains the poorest province, with 85.7 percent of the population below the poverty line, after a reduction of barely three percent. ( END/2008 )

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=42586