“Venezuela, to date, has fulfilled the Millennium Development Goal: to cut poverty in half by 2015.” The announcement was made on Sunday by the President of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, Hugo Chávez, during the television program Aló Presidente.
The Venezuelan head of state referred to a recent report that referenced various indicators of human development as measured by the United Nations, in which Venezuela has reached and surpassed the goals long before the projected date.
“Here, extreme poverty was 29.8% (in 2003) and is now 9.4%,” said President Chávez, who explained that the most recent figures are from 2007.
The president noted that the original projection was to bring the rate of extreme poverty to 12.5% by 2015.
“Now we have surpassed that, and in 2015 we should be at around 5 percent and later we will be at zero. In a socialist society there cannot be extreme poverty, there cannot be misery, there cannot be exclusion,”
expressed President Chávez.
The infant mortality rate, he announced, which was at 19 deaths per one thousand for children under the age of five (in 1998), has been reduced to
13.7 deaths for every thousand children born alive in 2007.
“The average in Latin America is 27 for every thousand. For each thousand children born alive, 27 die before reaching the age of one,” he explained.
He said that there are countries whose rate of extreme poverty is around 40 or 50 percent, while those that have the top places in the human development index register around 3 or 4 percentage points, as is the case in the Republic of Cuba.
Another indicator cited by the president was life expectancy, which in Venezuela is 73.58 years of age, while the continental average was 70.6 years.
Radio Nacional de Venezuela, Press Unit of the Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the United States / July 13, 2009