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Pandemic could set back Peru's poverty fight a decade: official

Xinhua | Updated: 2020-08-04 09:56
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A worker wearing a face mask delivers a refilled oxygen tank to a costumer at a private distributor that recharges tanks, amid the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Lima, Peru June 25, 2020. [Photo/Agencies]

LIMA -- The novel coronavirus pandemic could raise the level of poverty in Peru by 10 percent, President of the Council of Ministers Pedro Cateriano warned on Monday.

"Preliminary projections estimate that poverty could rise between 8 percent and 10 percent. That would set the country back 10 continuous years in its fight against poverty," Cateriano told Congress, where he asked for a vote of confidence in the cabinet he has been heading since July 15.

Lockdown measures designed to control the spread of the virus and save thousands of lives, have also led to unemployment and a rise in poverty, he noted.

"This crisis could lead to more than 868,000 households not having enough income to pay for the basic food basket and services," he said.

To tackle the crisis, the government plans to spend some 2.285 billion U.S. dollars on welfare programs to help these families, he added.

He also announced several infrastructure projects aimed at reactivating the economy.

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