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Venezuela's Poverty Rate Dropped by 23% in 2009

In 1996 it Reached 70%

Poverty in Venezuela dropped by 23 percent during the second trimester of 2009 due to the policies implemented by the Hugo Chávez administration, while in 1996 it reached up to 70 percent, informed on Thursday the President of the National Institute of Statistics, Elías Eljuri, during an interview broadcasted by a Venezuelan private station.

Eljuri explained that poverty rates in Venezuela reached 55 percent in 2003, while extreme poverty reached 25 percent, after the oil sabotage orchestrated by right wing Venezuelan opposition in 2003. Nevertheless, both rates progressively decreased by 23 percent and 6 percent respectively, according to the last figures determined by incomes and international patterns.

In addition, Eljuri stated that Venezuela has Latin America’s lowest Gini index, which measures inequality, since it dropped from 0.49 in 2008 to 0.39 in 2009.
“This is wealth distribution. There is still a great income appropriation concentrated in 20 percent of the richest the population. We are not still satisfied with that distribution. It [equality] has to be increased and developed, and that is only possible through a deeper structural change that we are working on to benefit the Venezuelan population,” Eljuri said.

The official said that the INE figures are supported by the United Nations Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (UNECLAC) and the World Bank (WB).

Bolivarian News Agency (ABN) Embassy of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela to the U.S. Press and Communication Office / March 4, 2010

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