Ecuador’s social spending lifts many out of poverty

Ecuador’s social spending for the past four years, since President Rafael Correa took office, has tripled, compared to the amount spent by his predecessors.

The Prensa Latina news agency reports, “Since President Correa took office four years ago, 15.851 billion USD has been invested in public works, 2.9 times more then during the three previous governments combined.”

An important aspect of President Correa’s policies has been a noticeable and ongoing reduction in poverty. In 2009, 38.3 percent of the population lived below the poverty line. In 2010, that figure was 35.1 percent, and now it is at 33.1 percent and expected to continue declining. Public investment has been on the rise from $2.4 billion in 2007, $3.45 billion in 2008, $5.66 billion in 2009 and $5.331 billion in 2010.

In 2001, 50 percent of the country’s gross domestic product was used to pay foreign debt. Today, the Correa government pays 15 percent  to the foreign debt, the majority of the balance going to investments in public and social work projects for the common good.

Similar programs are now at work under the government of President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, President Evo Morales of Bolivia, President Jose Mujica of Uruguay, President Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and President Cristina Fernadez of Argentina.

Ollanta Humala, elected president of Peru June 5, has promised to follow in these footsteps.

Photo:President Correa.  Office of the President of Ecuador // CC 2.0