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Survey shows 3.7% of Chilean population lives in extreme poverty

Monday, August 30th 2010 - 19:24 UTC
Full article 3 comments
President Piñera has promised to finish extreme poverty by the end of his period President Piñera has promised to finish extreme poverty by the end of his period

A survey carried out in December 2009 found that Chile has 634,328 people (3.7% of the population) living in extreme poverty. Since 2006 this percentage has gone up by 0.5%, the first increase since 1990. Those affected are mainly in rural areas.

These figures are worrying for President Sebastian Piñera's government, one of whose announced goals is to end all extreme poverty in the nation before Piñera’s term ends.

Mideplan (Ministry of Planning and Co-operation) Minister Felipe Kast has therefore decided to revamp the Sistema Chile Solidario, a social protection program set up by the socialist Lagos government in 2004. The first step is to invest 2.1 million USD (11%) more in the Support Program for the Homeless than it received last year.

So far, the support program (in operation since 2007) has worked with 6,796 people. This year it plans to aid 3,662 individuals and 4,517 in 2011.

According to Kast, a new census of people currently homeless or living in extreme poverty is needed. The last census of this kind was carried out in 2005; it found 7,254 people.

The new census is to be carried out in December and January, and will record sources and amount of income and current housing conditions as well as such problems as alcoholism and drug addiction.

Homeless individuals will be asked what type of work they are familiar with or have done in the past, whether they suffer from health problems, and what led to their situation.

Kast explained that this will be a difficult challenge. “Not only do we have to collect information, but once we have it we will have to work to verify it.”

Once the poor individual’s circumstances are clear, Kast’s goal is to make “focused and co-ordinated” links between the health, justice, housing and work ministries as well as Mideplan and private organizations designed to help the poorer section of society.

By Sasha Magill – Santiago Times
 

Categories: Economy, Politics, Latin America.

Top Comments

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  • Sergio Vega

    Now in Chile people is knowing the actual life standadrd and other manipulated figures by the last 20 years of layer administrations.
    The collection of data was made with the same procedure but the analisys was different and without modifie the figures, so we know the truth now.
    It's probably that at the Piñeras term's end we can say that extreme poverty is out or almost out of Chile, but we have another big step ahead that is decrease the number of Chilean people living under the poverty line, which is harder because they are too much people.
    But it´s possible if the funds are focused on that people and not diverted to the government parties pockets to support their election campaignes like last presidential terms when the funds were used as political tools keeping the people depending on those money and not making them prepared to be self suficients to get out of poverty.
    Fortunately, Chile's policies and actions are changing to faster and focused responses, not the old “commissions” before that took long time to produce nothing finally.
    We can watch the advances on the earthquake rebuilding after just 6 month compared with the same on Haiti and the Katrina storm.

    Aug 31st, 2010 - 02:11 pm 0
  • CaptainChurch

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    Aug 31st, 2010 - 04:50 pm 0
  • Sergio Vega

    The extreme poverty can be achieve with hard work, strong leadership and focused resources on the people that need the help to be susteinable by themselves, not to be kept depending on the help.
    God has nothing to do here, human being are the one´s that can do it or not. Please, don´t make me laugh......

    Sep 01st, 2010 - 03:35 pm 0
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