Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Oportunidades spending doubled under Calderón

Amidst all the talk of rising poverty figures in Mexico, here's one case where I think Calderón deserves credit:

The highly successful conditional cash-transfer program Oportunidades saw its budget double from 2005 to 2011 - it jumped from 28 billion to 57 billion pesos. This is truly impressive.

While no magic bullet to end poverty, Oportunidades has proven vastly succesful in terms of enrolling more children in school, making sure they stay there, and improving nutrition for infants and children, among other gains.In Mexico it now covers almost 6 million households, or 29 million people. Most live on the countryside,  and not in the big cities.

There is a reason why this has been copied by so many other countries, most famously in Brazil's Bolsa Familia.

Graphic from El Universal of its component parts:

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