The investment represents public spending of more than $383 million, which Fernández branded as a "revolution within social security" since it covers thousands of minors under 18 years old whose parents are unemployed or have jobs as informal or domestic workers.
The AUH has been implemented for 11 years and currently protects over 4 million children. Nonetheless, the National Social Security Administration (ANSES) estimates that one million children are not covered by social security, although 723.987 have already been identified.
The measure also offers significant support to mothers working in the informal sector, an area of Argentina's economy where the gender gap is remarkably deep. The latest data by the Centre for Political Economy of Argentina (CEPA) shows that in 2019 alone, women were paid 23 percent less than men in the private sector.
El presidente Alberto Fernández anuncia una ampliación de la Asignación Universal por Hijo. https://t.co/HcOmAdmOxo
"President Alberto Fernández announces an extension of the Universal Child Allowance."
"Our concern is to understand the situation of these families, these children, and to see how we can continue to extend to them the hand that the State must extend to them," Fernandéz said during the announcement.
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentina's government has implemented a series of relief programs to support its population. This approach has been rejected in other developing nations under the premise that an increase in public spending implies an increment of the fiscal debt.
However, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean advised governments in the region that increases in the fiscal expending and stimulus policies can be a way out of the crisis unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic as a means of slowing down poverty.
Recently Alberto Fernandez Government also extended the Emergency Assistance Program to Work and Production until December 31. Hence, the government will pay for part of the workers' salaries to support the industries and businesses' recovery.