Ecuador’s poverty rate has dropped from 38.3% of the population to 24.2% since 2006, according to a United Nations Report on Worldwide Poverty and the Ecuadorian Institute of Statistics and Census (INEC).
“The government of Ecuador has made a priority of reducing poverty over the past decade and the results are impressive,” says the UN report. “All countries say they want to bring more people up from poverty, the difference with Ecuador is that it has committed the resources necessary to make it happen.”
The report also applauded Ecuador for leading South America in the reduction of murder and violent crime. “As with poverty, Ecuador has also been a leader in bringing down violent crime rates,” the report said. Ecuador now has the second lowest murder rate in Latin America, behind Chile, and fourth lowest in the western hemisphere.
In a joint press conference Thursday Ecuador’s National Secretariat of Planning (Senplades) and INEC presented the results of its Survey of Living Conditions 2017, which considers such factors as health, housing, maternal health, and inequality as well as poverty.
Paúl Ramoz, a spokesman for Senplades, credited efforts of the government of former president Rafael Correa for most of the decline in the poverty rate. “He recognized that the effort required significant resources and effort and instituted programs to provide direct assistance and opportunities to the poor.” He added that more work needs to be done. “President (Lenin) Moreno is continuing the programs that were effective in poverty reduction and has added new ones,”
Current objectives, Ramoz added, are to provide decent housing for those who cannot afford it. “A safe, secure home is essential for bringing people out of poverty.”
He added: “Although we are proud of them as well as the recognition from the United Nations, statistics are just numbers.The important thing that they tell us is that 1.5 million Ecuadorians have been lifted out of poverty in the last 10 years. This is what our work is all about,” he said.
According to INEC, the rate of extreme poverty, a category defined by the UN, has dropped by more than 50% since 2006. Ecuador leads all Latin American countries in this category as well.
Latest INEC statistics show that poverty is concentrated in rural areas, where it averages 45.8% of the population compared to 13.7% in urban areas.