Puerto Rico Summit to Study an End the Poverty Afflicting Half Its Citizens

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The 3rd Poverty Eradication Summit in Puerto Rico, to be held next Oct. 14 in the Capitol, seat of the island’s legislature, will analyze strategies capable of ending a problem that afflicts more than half the Caribbean island’s population, The Latin American Herald Tribune reports.

The general coordinator of the Office for the Socioeconomic Development and Self-management of Special Communities, Maria Lourdes Rivera, presented in a communique on Saturday the summit’s agenda, and said the event will be a source of ideas on how to save the island’s poor from marginalization and exclusion.

In Puerto Rico, according to the 2014 Census, more than half the inhabitants live below the poverty line.

Rivera noted that the forum will take time to discuss how to dispel the myths about poverty in Puerto Rico and set the record straight, but will also generate “transformational policies which, using the model of self-management and community empowerment, will put the country on the road to eradicating poverty.”

She recalled that since the 1940s, Puerto Rico has seen several government schemes for dealing with poverty, mainly based on assistance subsidized by a beneficent state.

The most recent approach to dealing with the problem of marginalization and exclusion suffered by thousands of Puerto Ricans was the creation of the Office of Special Communities through Law 1 of 2001.

That policy seeks to transform the government’s approach to poverty from one of beneficent assistance to one that leverages communities’ capabilities and willingness to work to solve their own problems, Rivera said.

For the original report go to http://www.laht.com/article.asp?ArticleId=2397977&CategoryId=14092

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