EspañolArgentina is home to poverty levels “below 5 percent, and 1 percent severe poverty,” President Cristina Kirchner argued on Monday in a speech before the UN Food and Agriculture Office (FAO) in Rome.
Kirchner further compared Argentina’s poverty statistics with the economies of northern Europe, which boast some of the highest development scores in the world.
According to Kirchner, Argentina’s poverty rate is lower than Iceland (5.9 percent), the Czech Republic (5.9 percent), and Denmark (6 percent), the members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) with the best indicators in this area.
However, the announcement was picked up back home by Argentinean media outlets, who pointed to the fact that Argentina hasn’t published official statistics on poverty since 2013.
“I don’t have the number of poor people, it seems to me to be quite a stigmatizing measure,” Minister of Economy Axel Kicillof told press when questioned in March.
In December 2006, employees of the National Institute of Statistics (INDEC) denounced alleged interference by the executive, and accused then-President Néstor Kirchner of directing a campaign to distort real poverty figures.
The current president’s reference to poverty rates being lower than 5 percent would seem to be supported by an INDEC publication of 2013, which stated that the rate of homes in poverty was 3.7 percent, and that of individuals at 4.7 percent.
However, private estimates indicate that the situation in Argentina is far from being equal to that of countries such as Norway or Switzerland, with poverty rates oscillating around 25 percent: thus affecting 9.6 million Argentineans.
A report by Argentina’s Universidad Católica revealed in August 2014 that in Buenos Aires Province alone, there were 1.3 million minors under 18 years of age living in poverty, of which 290,000 were in severe poverty — unable to buy enough food to eat.
Source: La Nación.