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The government's efforts to address the poverty issue as part of its economic recovery plan failed to fully reverse the increase in poverty brought about due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
According to a report by the National Administrative Department of Statistics (DANE), the country's poverty rate will decrease by 3.2 percentage points to 39.3 percent by 2021, implying that approximately 19.6 million people in Colombia live on less than 89.50 dollars a month.
The decline in Colombia's poverty rate in 2021, as the country undertook efforts to recover from the adverse effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, falls short of undoing the increase in poverty in 2020.
Among people living below 40.70 dollars a month, the extreme poverty rate in Colombia dropped from 15.1 percent to 12.2 percent of the population between 2020 and last year.
According to the report, Colombia's poverty rate did not decrease everywhere. In the departments of Magdalena and La Guajira, poverty increased by 0.3 and 1.1 percentage points in the north of the country, respectively. In comparison, it rose 2.7 percentage points in southwestern Cauca, reaching 58.3 percent.
For the national total, the incidence of monetary poverty in 2021 was 3.6 percentage points higher than in 2019. At the departmental level, La Guajira presented the highest incidence of poverty for 2021 with 67.4 percent, and Huila registered the most significant drop between 2019 and 2021.
La Guajira became the poorest province in the country due to the coronavirus, with a poverty rate of 67.4 percent last year.
DANE estimates that more than half of the people living in eight of the 32 departments of Colombia live below the national poverty line.