February 26th 2020
The Social Debt Observatory of Argentina recorded an increase in multidimensional poverty of 37.5 percent, figures that would correspond to the government of former President Mauricio Macri.
Multidimensional poverty in Argentina rose by 10 points in the last four years, from 27.2 percent of the population in 2015 to 37.5 percent in the third quarter of 2019, affecting 15.8 million people, according to the latest report of the Social Debt Observatory of the Catholic University of Argentina (UCA).
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The report presented by the UCA analyzes the evolution of the material living conditions of the urban population in Argentina from a multidimensional approach based on the principle of "human rights.". This principle understands poverty as a problem linked to different factors such as food insecurity, lack of decent housing, education, health, discrimination, and lack of legal and fair employment, among other deficiencies that cannot always or necessarily be resolved through monetary income.
According to the UCA, multidimensional poverty fell between 2010 and 2015, from 29.7 percent to 27.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2015. In 2016 it rose again to 29.9 percent during the government of Mauricio Macri. Then it fell back in 2017, the only year in which the economy grew under the government of the former Argentinian president, and from 2018 it surpassed 30 percent to reach 37.5 percent in 2019.
Poverty measured by income went from 30 percent in 2015 to 40.8 percent of the population in 2019 and affected 16 million people, according to data released by the UCA last December. Both multidimensional and income-based measurements are the highest figures for the entire decade.
Currently, a family needs 40,373 Argentinian pesos to avoid poverty, according to the latest data from the Total Basic Basket. However, the multidimensional poverty measured by the UCA encompasses monetary resources, but also includes other deficiencies with the objective of recording a "deficit in human resources and capacities," the report details.
Another of the dimensions where there was a deterioration of the results was in food and health. The deficit rose 10 points, from 23.2 percent of the population in 2015 to 32.2 percent in 2019. This number means that the household encountered problems in accessing adequate food and resources to address health risks.
This dimension can be further disaggregated under the food insecurity indicator, defined as an involuntary reduction of a portion of food and the perception of hunger experiences due to economic problems. The index remained at about 5 percent of households between 2010-2016 and rose to 7.4 percent in 2019. That is, there were 850,000 households where hunger occurred.
Access to employment and social security was another dimension that deteriorated sharply in Macrism. The deficit in households went from 24.5 percent to 30.3 percent, a rise explained by the increase in unemployment, according to the UCA.
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