Mexico lifts nearly 3 million out of poverty

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Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador
Mexican president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador

Mexico has made significant progress in reducing poverty in recent years through effective welfare programs, a private-sector think tank said on Sunday.

From 2014 to 2018, the number of people living in poverty fell by 2.9 million, from 55.3 million to 52.4 million, said the Private Sector Center for Economic Studies (CEESP), part of the Business Coordinating Council (CCE), Mexico’s largest business confederation. The center cited figures from the National Council for Evaluating Social Development Policy (Coneval).

However, more could have been done, the think tank suggested.

The Coneval released a report on Aug. 5 showing extreme poverty also dropped, by 2.1 million people, from 11.4 million to 9.3 million.

Poverty in rural areas remained higher than in urban centers, with a rate of 55.3 percent versus 37.6 percent, respectively.

“While it is true that there is still much left to be done in matter of poverty, the progress has been favorable,” said the CEESP.

Since taking office in December, veteran leftist president, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has rolled out a string of welfare programs for the poor and the elderly, cut salaries for top civil servants and says he is saving public money by eliminating corruption.

Lopez Obrador has shunned the often luxurious trappings of Mexico’s wealthy elites, choosing to fly coach and drive through the capital in a white Volkswagen Jetta.

Immediately upon taking office, he turned over the presidential palace to the public and put his predecessor’s official plane up for sale.

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