COSTA RICA NEWS – The government promised yesterday to cut “extreme poverty” almost in half, lowering the number of households that cannot daily meet their living needs, by 45%.

The population in Costa Rica living in extreme poverty, which currently accounts for 6.7% of the households, would be reduced to about 52.000 homes, according the  Plan Nacional de Desarrollo (PND) – National Development Plan, presented last night by President Luis Guillermo Solís.

The plan, dedicated to political and intellectual Alberto Cañas, who died last June, comes after six months of the new government by Solís, who promised during the election campaign to address extreme poverty that affects some 345.000 people in the country.

In the election campaign, Solís used the verb “delete”, promising by 2018 (the end of his four year term) a country with a “0%” extreme poverty. Now, the government talks about “reducing”, with a goal of 2030 depending on what future governments do and other factors.

The new promise means that at least 52.000 households will continue in extreme poverty in 2018.

Vice-president Ana Helena Chacón justified it by saying, “we found different levels of poverty statistics which we had during the campaign and also the passing of the budget is being more difficult. We must be realistic.”

The setting for the presentation was the Teatro Nacional (National Theatre), with high ranking members of government, mayors, ambassadors, legislators and many others in attendance.

The PND is based on the same three pillars of the government program: the fight against corruption, promote academic growth and reduce inequality.

The Teatro Nacional
The Teatro Nacional

President Solís has been frank about the situation, after six months in office and the constant barriers, saying “there have to be adjustments to the purposes.”

Another campaign promise by Solís was to deliver by 2018 an economy with a growth of 6%. The same promise was made by Laura Chinchilla in 2010. The growth was only 4% at the end of her term in 2014.

The adjustments  by the Solís administration are also being made in the combat against unemployment, now promising to reduce the rate to 7% and not the 8.6% of the campaign, and create some 217.000 jobs before leaving office.

Source: La Nacion; AmeliaRueda.com; CRHoy

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