The Costa Rica News (TCRN) – The United Nations Program for Development (UNDP) said that a policy to generate more employment is the best way for Costa Rica to reduce poverty, which in the past two decades has remained stagnant at around 20%.

This conclusion results from the study “Reducing Poverty in Costa Rica is possible. Proposals for Action”, presented on Monday at a press conference by the UNDP representative in San José, Yoriko Yasukawa, and the researchers Pablo Sauma and Juan Diego Trejos.

“To reduce poverty the social and economic policy, that generates job skills, is very important”, expressed Trejos.

According to the study, an economic policy that gives priority to generating quality employment, and also achieves to eliminate unemployment of poor people and ensures payment of minimum wages, poverty decrease by 8.5 percentage points.

In this regard, the report notes the need for the State to provide more qualification options for youngsters and women, who take efforts to ensure universal primary education and promoting secondary increase.

According to the study, the population in extreme poverty, unemployment reaches 37%.

The study indicates that without social valid programs, poverty would increase by three percentage points, so it is shown that it did work in recent years.

Additionally, 15.7% of the country’s households receive some social assistance in cash like grants, pensions or transfers to combat poverty.

These grants represent 35.3% of the income of poor households.

Data of the report indicate that in 2000 36.1% of poor households had at least one unmet basic need, that percentage fell to 24.6% in 2011, which also demonstrates the impact of social programs.

UNDP recommended to the Government, as measures to combat poverty, to consolidate the databases of this issue, to ensure the financial sustainability of social programs, and to reduce the fiscal deficit, which closed 2013 at 5.4% of gross domestic product (GDP).

“It is important that Costa Rica continues to strengthen the impact of its social programs, especially in a country that has shown a commitment in fulfilling the rights of disadvantaged people, primarily in education, health and social care,” Yasukawa said.

He added that the country should continue to progress so that access to services is universal and of quality, while it can be extended to sectors and groups that require more help.

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