United Nations Children's Fund Office (UNICEF) in Ecuador warned of the increase in poverty indicators as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, reporting a total of 3.2 million new poor people in 2020.
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The UN agency noted that 1.8 million people lived in poverty while extreme poverty conditions reached 1.4 million people. Low-income families with children were impacted the most by the pandemic.
Between Dec. 2019 and Dec. 2020, the number of poor people rose from 6 million to 9.2 million, a figure that represents over 52 percent of the Ecuadorean population.
The international organization also estimated that at least 2.9 million children and adolescents will live in poverty this year.
The COVID-19 pandemic also increased school dropout rates by 21 percent and university dropout by 10 percent, while child labor rose to 13 percent.
In Sep. 2020, around 4.8 million people experienced unfair working conditions such as remunerations below the minimum wage or lack of social security.
In order to alleviate the pandemic's effects for the most affected households, UNICEF proposes investing of 2.4 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in social assistance.