Friday, October 21, 2016

World Bank: Ecuador Leading the Global Fight Against Poverty
Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa speaks to teleSUR during the Non-Aligned Movement summit in Margarita, Venezuela, Sept. 17, 2016. | Photo: Presidencia de Ecuador

20 October 2016

Despite setbacks that include a recent earthquake and plummeting oil prices, Ecuador has managed to improve the gap between rich and poor citizens.

Citing the newest economic indicators from the World Bank, Ecuador's President Rafael Correa said Thursday that his country is leading the global effort to reduce income inequality, and attributed the success to his administration's social programs and economic policies.

A World Bank study ranked Ecuador one of the best countries in Latin America for reducing the gap between rich and poor.

"Surely the decade won. Ever onward to victory!” he tweeted from his official account, making reference to his almost decade in power.

The extensive global report “Taking on Inequality” asserted that the country was ranked second behind Paraguay in shared prosperity from 2008-2016. The growth rate in the income or consumption of the bottom 40 percent of the population was 7.25 in Ecuador.

Correa attributed the improved poverty reduction to several government initiatives that address some of the structural causes behind the country’s divide between rich and poor. Correa cited poor education and employment, access to services and inadequate housing as factors that fueled inequality.

The report mentioned an education program in the country that helped to improve children’s language, memory and motor skills. The report said that similar education programs like the one in Ecuador and others in the United States, “strongly suggests that the way children are taught affects their future earning trajectories, as well as overall income gaps.”

The president said “let’s see how much of the free and independent press publishes this,” in reference to opposition attacks on his presidency. Correa leaves office next year following a presidential election scheduled for February 2017.

Ecuador’s capital, Quito, today winds up its major international conference, Habitat III. The Housing and Sustainable Urban Development conference, which has brought tens of thousands to the city has focused on a number of themes around how to facilitate poverty reduction in urban areas.

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