LIMA, Peru — There has been substantial progress made in South American country of Peru in regards to improving the living conditions of the citizens. There is still more work that needs to be done, especially in increasing the health care workforce and closing the housing gap. While poverty has increased in the first half of 2018, for the first time since 2001, the employment rate, Peru’s GDP and the net enrollment rate have all increased. In this article, the top 10 facts about living conditions in Peru are presented.
Top 10 Facts About Living Conditions in Peru
- The employment rate in Peru has increased from 58.29 percent in August 2003 to 63.50 percent in October 2018. According to the National Statistics Institute, in Peru’s capital Lima, 8.1 percent of people are currently without employment.
- Poverty reduction efforts are experiencing obstacles in decreasing poverty and ameliorating living conditions in the country. According to data from the government published in April 2018, Peru’s poverty rate rose for the first time since 2001, increasing 1 percentage point to 21.7 percent. Approximately 6.9 million people in Peru are impoverished and 44 percent of these people live in rural areas.
- Economic developments in the country show positive signs for reducing poverty in the country. Carolina Trivelli, economist and state-run Fiscal Council member, projects that poverty will decline in upcoming period since Peru’s GDP will increase by 4 percent. The construction sector is also bouncing back. Trivelli stated poverty will decrease in large part because conditions are being improved in Lima, the city with the highest poverty rate in the country. Reducing extreme poverty is one of the country’s primary goals.
- From 1999 to 2014, the Peruvian government invested $3.3 billion in housing programs. However, 1.3 million new homes have to be built in order to meet the housing needs. There are a number of reasons for the reduced amount of affordable housing some of them being the fact that more work still needs to be done on working on policy, high prices of houses that are built and a decreased amount of urban planning tools. Affordability is the main reason why there is a reduced amount of housing as only around 45 percent of families in Peru can afford the least expensive new home in the formal market.
- The World Bank is supporting Peru in closing the housing gap by working with the government and sharing its technical knowledge and experience. One of the areas the World Bank is also helping the country is access to water and sanitation. These services are key to supporting affordable housing programs. According to the World Bank, lessons learned and efforts by other countries, such as Indonesia and Colombia, demonstrate that closing the housing gap can be achieved and that it is possible to provide all families with ways to afford a house.
- Positive progress has been made in improving the country’s GDP. From 2000 to 2013, Peru’s GDP increased from $51.7 billion to $201.2 billion. In the last 3 years, Peru’s GDP rose from $189.9 billion in 2015 to $211.4 billion in 2017.
- Peru’s health care system is decentralized and is administered by the Ministry of Health that is providing health care to 60 percent of the population and EsSalud that is providing health care to 30 percent of the population. In addition, the Armed Forces, National Police and the private sector provide health care to people in Peru.
- There is still more work to be done to increase the health care workforce in Peru. The life expectancy in Peru is 74 years, placing the country at 120th place out of 224 countries. The amount of Peru’s GDP put towards health care is 5.54 percent. The number of physicians for every 1,000 people is 1.12, significantly lower than the number the World Health Organization advises that is 2.3 health workers for every 1,000 people.
- Within the last decade, Peru has seen positive developments in school attendance. In Peru, there are four levels of education: primary education, secondary education, vocational education and tertiary education. The number of students attending school in Peru is high and increasing. From 2007 to 2017, access to school has risen. The net student enrollment in Peru increased from 71 percent to 83 percent. While access to education has increased, there is a gap in performance due to the high cost of quality education, the concentration of schools in Lima and limited resources.
- One report, UNESCO’s Accountability in Education in Peru, sheds light on the current status of the progress made in education in the country and shows that the country is making progress in helping ameliorate living conditions in Peru. In the years from 2005 to 2014, preschool net coverage has risen from 60.3 percent to 82.6 percent. In addition, net coverage in secondary education has increased from 73.4 percent to 83.8 percent. One policy recommendation that the report puts forward is to guarantee the right to education for all children.
There have been many positive developments in Peru regarding employment, country’s GDP and education. Even though poverty has increased, it is projected it will decrease in the upcoming period, based on other positive parameters. With more work, the country can continue to see progress in improving living conditions in Peru.
– Daniel McAndrew-Greiner