Among the promises to reboot Argentina’s economy was President Mauricio Macri’s pledge of ‘zero poverty.’ Yet, recently released statistics show that nearly a third of all Argentina’s live below the poverty line.
Citizens are now debating not only the government’s performance, but also how poverty is measured.
CCTV America’s Joel Richards reports the story.
New statistics triggers debate on Argentina's poverty measurementsRecently released statistics show that nearly a third of all Argentine's live below the poverty line. Citizens are now debating not only the government's performance, but also how poverty is measured. CCTV America's Joel Richards reports the story.
Official figures released recently by the National Statistics Institute show 32 percent of Argentine’s live in poverty. Under the government of former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner who left office less than a year ago, the figure was under 5 percent.
“Since 2007, the statistics were distorted. There were no trustworthy official figures which meant our investigation was the only one. It was quoted by the media about the real levels of poverty in the population,” Eduardo Donza who works with the Social Debt Observatory for Pontifical Catholic University of Argentina, said.
Researchers at this university have measured poverty since 2004. They say by the end of the Kirchner government, poverty was closer to 29 percent.
During the presidential elections, Mauricio Macri campaigned under the slogan ‘zero poverty.’ But since taking office, recession and the currency devaluation have led to poverty levels increasing by approximately three percent.
Yet, according to some political scientists, the way in which Argentina now measures poverty has been altered. This complicates direct comparisons of previous levels or even comparisons with other countries.
Since the release of official statistics, the political debate has centered on a stark reality one in three Argentine’s live in poverty, something Macri said “has to make us angry and get us to commit to work together.”