ECLAC Praises Uruguay for Policies to Reduce Poverty

Montevideo, Jan 4. -The UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) highlighted Uruguay among five countries that experienced significant declines in poverty rates from 2009 to 2011, official sources reported on Wednesday.Peru, Ecuador, Argentina and Colombia are the other nations identified by the Social Panorama of Latin America 2011 report, presented by the institution based in Santiago, Chile, the ECLAC website said.

Honduras and Mexico were the only countries with significant increases in the negative indicator, according to the survey.

According to the ECLAC report, the region ended 2011 with 174 million people in poverty, including 73 million in extreme poverty.

Poverty and inequality have been declining in the region, which is good news, especially in the context of the global economic crisis, the report said.

According to ECLAC, this reduction is explained by an increase in wages, while government money transfers also contributed, but to a lesser degree.

The UN agency acknowledged that these achievements are threatened by huge gaps in the regional production structure, and by labor markets generating low-productivity jobs without social welfare.

The institution indicates that in states with a per capita social spending higher than 1,000 USD, such as Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Trinidad and Tobago and Uruguay, personal security and social welfare are the areas of greatest importance. (Prensa Latina)