Venezuela's poverty decline regarded as fragile
Experts assert that reported drop in poverty relies on oil income
To some experts, social investment is not the point at issue. What really matters is that oil revenues seem not to be utilized as appropriate.
"Distributing oil revenues in a way that citizens can make use of could result in temporary well-being, yet in the event that such income plummets, so will the current well-being we have enjoyed," says Henke García, director of consultancy firm Econométrica.
Without taking social support aside, García remarks, it is necessary to use oil resources for the development of infrastructure, education, health, and public utilities. Such an investment not only meets people's basic needs, but also leads to sustainable well-being.
Based on the Population and Housing Census 2011, Venezuela's critical poverty accounted for 6.97% in 2011 versus 11.36% in 2001. Non-critical poverty slipped from 21.64% in 2001 to 17.60% in 2011.
Economist Ronald Balza trusts the official results, yet he warns that the drop in poverty is associated with the oil boom, therefore "it could be fragile."
Translated by Jhean Cabrera
Cristian Fonseca, a businessman in La Candelaria district downtown Caracas, was doing the accounts in his small shop office on Sunday December 21, 2008. The Christmas shopping season kept him working late hours into the night. It was around 11 p.m. and his phone rang. A friend broke the bad news to him over the telephone.