Poverty in Argentina is currently at 36% from around 26% in 2018. The numbers are alarming, as inflation currently stands at 45% and is expected to increase within this year.
The massive International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan came with strict conditions, Argentina is required to commit to a strict zero-deficit budget for 2019 and has to curb the actions of its Central Bank. The measures have increased poverty levels by ten percent, while austerity has hurt those on the bottom the most.
Protests have become a common sight across the country.
On Thursday, thousands of people took to the streets in Buenos Aires to protest against the most recent austerity measures that were approved by President Mauricio Macri. Protesters were joined by unions, small business owners and various activists from every part of the country.
Marchamos al Congreso de la Nación por la aprobación de leyes de emergencia habitacional , alimentaria, ocupacional y tarifaria en servicios públicos. pic.twitter.com/caxZCeu8sk
— CTA Pcia. de Bs. As. (@ctabsas) April 4, 2019
Subsidy cuts for utilities such as electricity have made life harder for the regular Argentinian, while the country’s economy suffers from high-interest rates, a weak peso and rising inflation. The results have been an increase in poverty, now one in three Argentines lives below the poverty line and homelessness increases steadily.
Extreme poverty in the capital alone, is estimated to affect around 198,000 people.
The IMF estimated Argentina’s economy fell by 2.6% in 2018 and will drop another 1.6% in 2019, yet believe there are “good prospects for a gradual recovery.”
According to a local media outlet, Pagina 12, opposition party members have said that if they win in next October’s presidential elections they will renegotiate the US$56.3 billion deal, which is the biggest loan in IMF’s history.