United Nations Development Programme
The Eradication of Poverty
Republic of Peru
Flynn Lyon, Forest Hills Northern High School
Since the dawn of economics, poverty has been a seemingly indelible issue. Despite hundreds of attempts to pull people out of poverty, it remains a prominent issue even in today’s society. But the issue of delineating poverty has only grown more complex over the years, with variables such as income, access to electricity, level of education, and many more contributing to the definition. With an increase of factors also came an increase in divergence. While countries such as the Republic of Peru have poverty lines that fit countries similar to themselves, more affluent countries, such as the United States, have poverty lines that seem sky-high in comparison.
The Republic of Peru has been stricken by Poverty for as long as the country has been around. With 58.7% of the population living in poverty as of 2004. Thanks to efforts made both by the Peruvian government, as well as the World Bank, the Republic of Peru now sees 20.5% of its citizens as below the national poverty line as of last year. Despite these immense reductions, poverty still affects hundreds of thousands in the country, with 1.2% of those living in urban areas and 12.8% of those living in rural regions of the country falling under the extreme poverty line. Not only does this statistic highlight the need for poverty reduction, it also exemplifies the economic difference in the two areas of the country.
The drastic difference in economic equality demonstrates the need to redefine poverty. As it stands, the international poverty line, as given to us by the World Bank, defines those in poverty as earning “less than $1.90 a day.” For a country like the United States of America, this line wouldn’t be able to accurately represent those in poverty, as the average American earns about $59,039 according to the US Census Bureau. Even in a country like Peru, the poverty line still remains about 79 times higher than the international poverty line. Due to how different economies are in the modern era, the only way to accommodate for this would be to redefine the international poverty line. As it stands, a singular “one size fits all” line seems increasingly unfit as a method of determining poverty, and so Peru believes that the first step towards eradicating poverty, would be to redefine what poverty is.
Once a new definition of what poverty is goes into effect, steps to dispel the effects of must follow. Peru has put into place many efforts to reduce poverty in the country, which have had a significant impact on the people of Peru with about 7 million Peruvians (about 27% of the country) being lifted out of poverty. Peru proposes that the UNDP follows the World Bank in adopting their many poverty reduction methods, including an increased access and quality of social services for those who fall under the poverty line, as well as connecting the poor to local services and markets, and promoting sustainable economic growth and prosperity through government involvement. Peru acknowledges that there won’t be one solution that works for every country, which is why having multiple solutions for the issue is crucial. Peru is looking forward to working with many other countries to find solutions that will benefit the collective international whole.
- Flynn Lyon