LIMA – Peruvian President Martin Vizcarra said on Tuesday that it was “unacceptable” that poverty had risen 1 percent last year while he was serving as vice president in the administration of Pedro Pablo Kuczynski.
“This is unacceptable. We have to work very hard to change this situation,” Vizcarra told journalists, who had questioned him about the results of a report published by the INEI statistics agency.
Vizcarra, who became president in March after Kuczynski resigned in the midst of a political crisis, said that poverty in Peru had decreased since the start of the century but denounced the fact that poverty had started to rise again last year.
“We have to start to reduce poverty again and create a decreasing trend. This is a wakeup call telling Peruvians and Peru’s authorities to come together to fight poverty,” the president said.
The INEI released a report Tuesday showing that, in 2017, poverty in Peru affected 21.7 percent of the country’s roughly 30 million inhabitants and had increased for the first time since the beginning of the century, with 373,000 more people added to the ranks of the poor.
More than 41 percent of residents of interior rural areas live below the poverty line.
According to the INEI, however, poverty decreased 20.7 percent from 2007-2017, meaning that 5.18 million people were able to escape poverty during this period.