Extreme poverty increases in Latin America: ECLAC

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Latin America recorded the highest level of extreme poverty in nine years in 2017, the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has said in a report.

According to the report, extreme poverty — the share of people who cannot afford basic foodstuffs — increased from 9.9 per cent in 2016 to 10.2 per cent or 62 million people.

Meanwhile, the normal poverty rate remained nearly unchanged at 30.2 per cent of the population — 184 million people.

The body said it expects the poverty to decrease to 29.6 per cent (182 million people) in 2018 and the extreme poverty to remain stable at 10.2 per cent.

ECLAC also said that inequality has come down in the region, particularly due to social security measures taken in recent years.

But “Latin America and the Caribbean remains the most unequal region in the world with significant levels of poverty including many sectors, even if they have risen out of poverty and extreme poverty, that is still vulnerable to economic cycles,” the report said.

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