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Poverty in Peru

Updated on September 19, 2011

Peru’s Economic situation and performance is rated among the best in South American countries. But, the level of poverty remains extremely high among the rural population. It is increasing in the inner cities as well. In 2002 Peru had the fastest growing economy in the region but,, unemployment was still relatively high and the poverty reduction initiatives were still growing down and not economically viable. The numbers are based on a average of $2 us dollars a day.

One program that is currently working on reducing the poverty level is called Crecer which means Grow in English; this program is the latest government initiative that focuses mainly on child malnutrition. In this country over twenty five percent of children under 5 years old have suffered from stunted growth in relation to their age and this continues to rise as high as sixty ix percent in some of the poorer regions of the country. The government wises to reduce this average significantly by 2011 and be below 20%.

The current inequalities in the development of human economics in the countryor Peru is specifically seen in the urban and rural areas of the country. Most native speakers and those that are non native speakers across this climate zones suffer the same. These people live day to day not knowing if their children will be fed tomorrow. But in the rural jungles of this country the inconsistent of speaking Spanish which is Peru’s native tongue have an effect on the social and economic factors of individuals. It provides them less opportunity to progress through life with a job or skill that is demand because of the discrimination of their language barriers.

With the government initiatives put in place there is a small bright side and that is with the children. The mortality rates and education that is provided. The trends are showing an increase in both of these area which surmounts to a vast improvement over where they were when these programs started in the mid nineteen nineties. Despite progress in access to services for the poor, disparities between urban and rural areas and across different regions mortality remains high. A quarter of the population has no access to health services despite free health care since 2002.

The children are the most vulnerable to these the effects of poverty and much is being done and there is progress that is being made. But, still more needs to be done to combat those that have not had a fair shake at life due to their circumstances. The latest figures is that of a total of 3.8 million people more than half of them are children ranging n the 2.1 million area that live just at or below the poverty line of this country.

The socioeconomic disparities are prevalent even with the government intervention. As the children grow up the enrollment in school continues to drop do to the cost of staying there. There are those families as well that need their children to work in the fields under dreadful conditions just so that their family can sustain themselves with the basics of life. I’m not talking about electricity and cable TV either. With these truths we can see that the gap between rich and poor is widening as it is around the world.

Levels of poverty, mortality rates and malnourishment among indigenous groups are twice as high as national averages. Peru has one of the highest levels of income inequality and the gap between the rich and poor is widening.

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  • Dr. Arthur Ide profile image

    Dr. Arthur Ide 6 years ago from Iowa

    Poverty will remain high in Perú as long as government funding for quality education remains among the lowest in the world. Teaching is not a vocation of choice, but a job when a person can find nothing else to do to earn money; it is for that reason that most of the teachers are undertrained, undereducated, and more of hinderance to learning than being leaders in the conduct of inquiry. As a teacher in Perú, having earned my last doctorate at Carnegie-Mellon University in the USA, it startles me to see teachers who cannot pass even the most simple of tests in their own subject fields. In 2005, the government of Perú mandated that all teachers be tested, but as Antonio Chang learned after more than 185,000 took the test and only 151 passed it, teachers are basically incompetent. In the last week of February 2011, teachers in Perú were still buying copies of examinations, and at the national universities those who go into education are ill-advised, resent having to read, refuse to write.

    I moved to Perú to help change this, but it will not change as copying is a way of life, and in every case when I taught at the national university of Pedro Ruiz Gallo, students who were supposed to be working toward a Master degree in education consistently plagiarized from Wikipedia and other online sources. When not downloading, they were busy complaining about homework, having to interpret material and develop their own skills. They were unwilling to do more.

    The Directors and Deans of most schools (kindergarden, primary, secondary, and university) support the teachers (through SUTEP) as they owe their posts not to any rigid academic standards or significant publications and subject mastery, but because of who they know. Now it is easy to start your own university--without even a faculty in place, as occurred with the University of Lambayeque in Chiclayo.

    Cronyism is rife and it is strangling Perú, and it comes with a price--for students will cut pages from books to photocopy and sell, will invade faculty desks and take examinations, and will attempt extortion to coercion to get a passing grade (I had a student announce to a class that he had not read a book in two years--then complained when he failed my course.) I continue to write about education in Perú in hopes that at some time it will change.