The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) asked Latin American countries to protect the progress achieved in recent years and prevent social rollbacks amid a scenario of lower economic growth.
ECLAC Executive Secretary Alicia Barcena said a total of 175 million people were living in situations of poverty in late 2015 in Latin America, 7 million more compared to 2014,
According to the report Social Panorama of Latin America 2015, presented today by ECLAC, the poverty rate is expected to be 29.2% and the indigence rate 12.4%. If borne out, these projections mean a figure of 175 million income-poor in 2015, with 75 million indigent.
In 2014, the regional average rates for poverty and indigence remained unchanged from 2013, 28.2% and 11.8% of the total population, respectively.
In addition, the number of people living in poverty in 2014 grew by 2 million from the previous year, reaching 168 million, of whom 70 million were indigent.
The increase in the number of poor people verified in 2014 occurred basically among the non-indigent poor, and was the result of uneven national results, rising in some countries and falling in a significant number of others, according to the document.
“If we want to achieve the first Sustainable Development Goal, which calls for putting an end to poverty in all its forms, Latin America must create more quality employment, with rights and social protection, safeguard the minimum wage and protect social spending, which is showing a slower pace of growth,” Barcena stated.