Colombian president lauds poverty reduction achievement

Updated: 2013-04-19 10:10:00


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BOGOTA, April 18 (Xinhua) -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Thursday announced that his government has taken Colombia out of its "shameful" top spots in regional and world inequality rankings.

Santos, accompanied by members of his cabinet and other top officials, announced the latest figures at an official event highlighting his government's fight against poverty.

Colombia had Latin America's second-worst distribution of wealth, and the world's seventh-worst, according to Santos.

The president, who has been in power since 2010, said his government has reduced the poverty rate from 37.2 percent to 32.7 in two years, adding that some 1.7 million people have been lifted out of poverty.

According to the president, the figures were derived from applying a poverty measuring system designed by Oxford University that "has to do with human development and poverty."

Santos said the figures are "encouraging" and show that the Colombian economy has been growing in recent years.

"We have practically reached the goal we had set for our four-year term, which was 32 percent," he said.