Equality in ArgentinaOn July 26, 2022, Argentina commemorated the 70th anniversary of the life of former actress and First Lady Eva Perón, a leading figure for her contributions to social justice in Argentina. She is especially revered for the passage of the women’s suffrage law which has furthered women’s rights and equality in Argentina.

The Life of Eva Perón

Maria Eva Duarte de Perón was born on May 7, 1919, in the province of Los Toldos, Argentina. Despite her father hailing from a prominent and successful conservative family, Perón, unlike her older siblings, did not enjoy her father’s era of economic prosperity. Instead, she experienced times of hardship and poverty. After her father died in 1926, Perón’s mother relocated the family to the neighboring province of Junin, the town where Perón would realize her calling. Nearly a decade later, she decided to move to Buenos Aires to pursue acting.

In the capital city, Perón was a lead actress for the Argentine Comedy Company and appeared for the first time on the big screen in 1937. The 1930s were a difficult period for Argentina as it was a time of diversification, anxiety, recession and famine. By the early 1940s, the nation fell into political turmoil amid the coming elections.

After the earthquake of 1944, Perón met her husband Juan Perón, a colonel, government official and future president, at a relief effort he coordinated to collect donations for citizens affected by the earthquake. They were married the following year and in 1946, Juan Perón became President of Argentina.

First Lady of Argentina

Upon becoming First Lady of Argentina in 1946, Eva Perón, or “Evita” as she became fondly known, jumped straight into the political arena; she primarily worked out of the Central Post and Telecommunications Office, where she met with workers to solve labor disputes and wage issues. As First Lady, Perón took on the role of being a strong liaison between the president and his people. She used her status and resources to help women’s suffrage, laborers, the marginalized and the poor.

Throughout her short but impactful career as First Lady, Perón worked tirelessly to bring about real change for Argentinians. In the Perón family’s first moments in office, the First Lady actively participated in campaigns to aid Argentina’s poor. She liaised and distributed government allowances to construct clinics and give needy families food and other essential items. Perón also championed a policy that gave impoverished citizens access to reliable housing, social welfare and health care services.

Fight for Women’s Rights and Equality in Argentina

In addition to being a leading advocate for the underprivileged, Perón was a prominent figure in Argentina’s women’s suffrage movement. The suffrage movement in Argentina began at the start of the 20th century but would not gain full traction until 1946 during the campaign and election of Juan Perón for president when Eva Perón’s support helped to shine a spotlight on the importance of gender equality.

As part of her efforts, Perón created a mobilizing campaign, transmitting a weekly speech urging women to fight twice as hard to secure women’s rights in Argentina. On September 23, 1947, the women of Argentina would triumph, gaining their equal right to vote. After the victory, the Perónista party would restructure to create the Partido Perónista Feminino (PPF), an exclusively female party that Perón would spearhead. The PPF would be a central hub of political activities and social work.


The height of Evita’s influence and accomplishments in the years before her death in 1952 came through the formation of the Maria Eva Duarte de Perón Foundation in 1948. The foundation aimed to be a strong beacon of social justice that would match the country’s ongoing progress. Through the foundation, Perón would build homes for the elderly and implement a plan to construct educational institutions, agricultural schools, nurseries and housing spaces for students coming to Buenos Aires to study. The foundation would also provide juvenile medical examinations, temporary lodging for working women and donate essential medical equipment to hospitals.

The accomplishments of Eva Perón during her short career as a first lady and social warrior cemented her as an icon in the hearts and minds of the Argentine people. When she died on July 26, 1952, she received a funeral exclusive to heads of state and the title of “Spiritual Leader of the Nation.” Perón will continue to be honored for her selfless devotion to her people and social rights in Argentina.

– Ricardo Silva
Photo: Pixabay

Updates on SDG Goal 10 in ArgentinaIn Argentina, the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing economic unrest has stalled efforts to close the inequality gap. Before the pandemic hit, Argentina was making progress on a series of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which is a framework of global objectives created by the United Nations, designed as a “blueprint to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all” by 2030. The country was “well-positioned” compared to its Latin American counterparts, according to the Argentine Network for International Cooperation (RACI). The onset of COVID-19 has impacted updates on SDG Goal 10 in Argentina.

Achieving SDG 10: Reducing Inequality

Argentina had been struggling to achieve SDG 10, which focuses on reducing inequalities within a county’s population and among different countries around the world. To measure inequality, the SDGs use a scale of 0 to 100. The lower the score, the closer the country is to achieving economic equality. The goal is to achieve a ranking of 30 or lower by 2030. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Argentina had a ranking of 51. The pandemic has siphoned resources out of the government and stalled updates on SDG Goal 10 in Argentina and other progressive reforms. On top of that, millions of Argentinians have lost their jobs and inequality is expanding as a result.

President Alberto Fernández

In December 2019, President Alberto Fernández won the presidential election over conservative incumbent, Mauricio Macri. President Fernández’s political style is that of his mentor, former president, Néstor Kirchner. However, “the COVID-19 pandemic might very well shatter the center-left president’s dreams of following in his mentor’s footsteps and bringing social progress and economic growth to Argentina,” writes Hugo Goeury.

Despite Fernandez’s progressive goals for his administration, reforms have all been put on the back burner since the arrival of COVID-19 in Argentina.

Poverty, Unemployment and the Wealth Gap

In the first half of 2020 alone, the poverty rate among Argentinians increased to almost 41%, the Americas Society/Council of the Americas reported, nearly a 5% increase from the previous year. The Central Bank is also predicting the GDP to contract by nearly 11%.

With almost a third of Argentine workers facing unemployment, President Fernandez is scrambling to financially support his unemployed constituents, while also negotiating the country’s debt owed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

According to the World Inequality Database, as of 2019, the top 10% wealthiest Argentinians controlled nearly 40% of the country’s income, while the bottom 50% only possessed 17.9% of the nation’s income.

Better Days Ahead for Argentina

Even though updates on SDG Goal 10 in Argentina seem especially challenging right now, Argentinians are still
pushing forward to make their country more equitable for everyone. The U.N. says, “In the post-pandemic world, Argentina must strengthen its productive apparatus and continue to eliminate inherited social inequities and those aggravated by COVID-19.”

– Laney Pope
Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Education in Argentina

Argentina was the seventh most prosperous nation in the world just a century ago, according to Agnus Maddison’s historic incomes database. In fact, its per capita income in 1909 was 50 percent higher than Italy and 180 percent higher than Japan. “The gap between 2000 income and predicted economic success, based on 1909 income, is larger for Argentina than for any other country,” according to New York Times’ Economix. In other words, income in Argentina is sharply declining. Much of the nation’s economic trouble can be attributed to shortcomings in their education system. Argentina’s education minister, Esteban Bullrich, says, “We don’t want to accept that we’re doing badly at anything.” While many of Argentina’s student academic goals are statistically high, other aspects of their education system have proved to be weak. Here are 10 facts about education in Argentina.

10 Facts About Education in Argentina

  1. Argentina’s quality of life is among the highest in South America. It is rated number 55 worldwide for quality of life and 40 in entrepreneurship. Due to this, many students have easy access to an education.
  2. Argentina’s literacy rate is 98.1 percent – a five percent increase since the 80s. More Argentinians are reading at a higher level now than ever before. In comparison, that is 12 percent higher than the global average.
  3. Argentina’s school year runs about 200 days. Students are in school from March to December with a two-week break during July and breaks on national holidays such as Easter. In contrast, American school years tend to run only 180 days a year. The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness found through their study that longer school years can benefit students greater than longer school days. Shortened summers prevent “summer slide-back,” a phenomenon in which students forget learned information during summer breaks.
  4. In 2005, 12.2 million students made up 30 percent of Argentina’s population. In the early 2000s an economic crisis had a severe impact on those enrolled in school. Primary level enrollment fell from 117.8 percent to 112.7 percent. Despite this, school is mandatory in the nation.
  5. School runs for just four hours a day, Monday through Friday, with a student either attending an 8:15- 12:15 session or a 13:00 to 17:15 session. In contrast, American schools average six and a half hours a day and schools in China run from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. with a two-hour lunch break. A study conducted by the Department of Education in Massachusetts found that longer school days can improve test scores by 4.7-10.8 percentage points
  6. As of 2016, Argentina has a secondary school enrollment rate of 90 percent, according to the World Bank. Secondary education is broken into a basic cycle of 3 years followed by a cycle of two to three years where students can study accounting, computer science, and other various specializations. Technical-vocational programs include 12-15 hours a week in workshops.
  7. Only 27 percent of students in Argentina finish their university studies. This gives the nation a drop-out rate of 73 percent – one of the highest in the world. Esteban Bullrich, the education minister says that only about half of students finish their secondary studies.
  8. The Minister of Education in Argentina refused César Alan Rodríguez, a student with down syndrome, his graduation certificate, arguing he had received an adaptive curriculum. Rodriguez was the only disabled student attending his school at the time. In response, he sued his school for discrimination of basis of disability. Argentina ruled in this case to start taking the education of disabled students seriously, creating the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). CRPD is the first human rights treaty clearly stating all students have an equal right to education regardless of ability.
  9. A teacher’s gross salary in Argentina is $10,747 in American currency. This number is roughly a fifth of what teachers make in the United States. In contrast, Regional IT Managers in Argentina make $134,336 and Software Engineers make $55, 535 on average.
  10. Argentina’s Ministers of Education met at the G20 Summit on September 5th, 2018 to create an action plan. There the ministers pledged to keep up with societal and technological innovations, better equip teachers, “[promote] multiple and flexible pathways into lifelong education and training,” improve policies, and engage students. Furthermore, they discussed how to finance these goals in line with the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda.

Like the rest of the world, education in Argentina is not perfect. Drop-out rates run high and school days run short. However, the nation is making a clear effect to improve the situation for students and educators across their country.

Maura Byrne
Photo: Flickr

Poverty and health in argentina

Though Argentina does not suffer from the same issues of illiteracy and income inequality that other countries do, the South American nation has other problems to focus on, namely national health issues and their intersection with poverty. According to 2017 estimates, about one in every four Argentinians lives below the poverty line.

This means that many in Argentina do not have access to proper medical personnel or equipment, as well as medicine. Though this number may seem fairly standard compared to other South American countries, Argentina’s largely agrarian communities suffer from extremely limited access to sufficient education or medical facilities. As a result, even those not considered impoverished may not have the proper means to receive medical treatment, thus creating a vicious cycle of poverty’s effect on health in Argentina.

An Unstable System

Argentina’s health system is in part to blame for this issue. Argentina created a system comprised of a public and a private sector, the former of which is meant to provide all Argentinians with universal healthcare and free coverage. In theory, this seems like an advantageous idea as it is meant to directly address everyday health issues for every citizen. However, it actually perfectly exemplifies poverty’s effect on health in Argentina. The reality is that problems like regional socioeconomic disparities have caused the system to work inefficiently, meaning that those in less educated, more rural areas do not usually receive the same quality of care and coverage as those in wealthier urban communities. This unfortunate issue is quite cyclical since poorer communities simply do not have a viable way to resolve it.

Local Perspectives

Zack Tenner, a Pre-Med university student who spent a month earlier this summer working in Argentina with Child Family Health International, commented on Argentina’s health and poverty issues in an interview with The Borgen Project. “Argentina prides itself on a universal healthcare system which guarantees the ability for all citizens and tourists to see a doctor without cost. Despite its attempts to create a working and efficient system, Argentina’s emergency departments are overburdened,” said Tenner.

“The homeless and impoverished populations do not have enough access to education on how to properly use the system to their benefit, meaning that they end up being stuck with the same limited healthcare and access to medicine as before. This is definitely a timely issue that should be one of Argentina’s top priorities, as national health is a huge factor in so many different facets of everyday life.”

Rural Challenges

The flawed healthcare system is not helping poverty’s effect on health in Argentina. In more rural and agrarian communities, Argentinians are exposed to more risks of disease and injury as well. Aside from the constant risk of minor injuries from agriculture and operating machinery, diseases and viruses like Typhoid and even Zika occur in Argentina.

In other words, the Argentinians with probably the highest risk of injury or disease and subsequent healthcare and medicine are also the citizens with the least sufficient access to viable sources of healthcare. Argentina is on the right track in terms of creating a universal healthcare system.

That said, the South American nation needs to implement a more complete system that truly affords people from all walks of life with adequate medicine and treatment. Otherwise, poverty’s effect on health in Argentina will continue and, with it, a seemingly inescapable cycle.

NGO Involvement

All that in mind, there are still several NGOs focused on improving the healthcare and treatment situations in Argentina. Child Family Health International, for example, aims to increase awareness of primary care and treatment issues in Argentina by bringing in students and doctors from other countries to work with Argentinian physicians and patients. Aside from that, other larger entities such as the World Health Organization are also working to increase awareness of health issues in Argentina. This organization provides pertinent data and information regarding Argentina’s healthcare and coverage system to incite activism and aid for the South American nation.

As for organizations focused on more specific health-related issues, the AIDS Healthcare Foundation has worked since its creation in 2013 to provide support for testing and treatment of HIV/AIDS in Argentina. In fact, the organization supports seven Argentinian clinics and their nearly 12,000 patients and has performed more than 120,000 HIV tests for citizens in the last six years.

As long as organizations like these continue to create awareness and provide assistance, the healthcare and treatment situations will continue to improve, thus lessening poverty’s effect on health in Argentina.

Ethan Marchetti
Photo: Flickr


Combatting the Currency Crisis in Argentina
Argentina has experienced quite a few economic struggles in the past decade. The country now faces its fifth recession in the past ten years and its currency, the Argentine peso, has lost a third of its value. Now the lowest performing currency in the world, the currency crisis in Argentina imposes the new challenge to revamp its peso and bypass the friction of its economy.

Who Is Affected?

Virtually everyone in Argentina is affected by this crisis. Business owners who expected to succeed in their business endeavors, due to the nature of Argentine markets and demand, are evidently experiencing a consumer drought.

Moreover, current negotiation details between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Argentina’s government have consequences for the public. Infrastructure projects will be postponed, subsidies cut, transfers to the provinces reduced and the federal payroll shrunk. Social unrest has followed already as the General Confederation of Labour, the greatest trade-union group in Argentina, protested against the government’s economic policies on June of 2018.

How Did the Crisis Commence?

Wolf Richter, a writer who featured on Business Insider, described the origin of the currency crisis in a simple yet concise fashion. Lending money to Argentina’s government is a tricky venture since lending to the government in its own currency devastates their peso and lending in a foreign currency leads to defaulting of the loan.

The currency crisis in Argentina started from reasons outside of the country’s control as well as the institutional reactions to them. Argentina underwent the greatest drought in 50 years at the beginning of this year, specifically affecting the harvesting of two export crops: maize and soybeans. A stronger U.S. dollar and Treasury yields led to the risk aversion of international investors, leaving riskier assets. Thereafter, Argentina’s peso, alongside Mexico’s peso, Brazil’s real, Turkey’s lira and Russia’s ruble, struggled.

Following these uncontrollable forces, the Central Bank of Argentina raised interest rates to a staggering 40 percent in the hope of helping the Argentine peso. The endeavor did not work as planned. Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and his administration took a $50 billion loan from the IMF. President Macri collaborated with senators, governors and other leaders in order to get the country on board with the plan. Nevertheless, the public is skeptical because of Argentina’s past experiences with the IMF, such as the 1990s Convertibility Plan that fell through and spiraled into one of the greatest economic crises for Argentina.

Possible Solutions

Solutions to this problem that directly involves Argentina and international organizations, proposed by different institutions, are as follows:

  1. Make the IMF more sensitive to political realities
  2. Selectively slash government spending
  3. Avoid overvaluation of the currency
  4. Address fiscal problems in a timely manner
  5. Devaluate the Argentine peso
  6. Revise fiscal and economic policies that tend to disrupt the peso

The currency crisis in Argentina is undergoing a tug and pull from differing sides. The public keeps a retrospective mindset as they remember the past events of the 1990s and early 2000s. On the other hand, President Macri holds onto a prospective plan, trying to help Argentina climb out on top and even willing to take a $50 billion loan from the IMF. There are a number of solutions that have been drawn out. Although Argentina struggles to find a national consensus, the gears are in motion to eradicate this crisis and past mistakes are increasingly considered as citizens politically mobilize.

Roberto Carlos Ventura
Photo: Flickr

Argentina lowered its poverty rate

From the second half of 2016 to the first half of 2017, Argentina lowered its poverty rate by 1.7 percent. Though that number may seem small, it represents a significant step forward for a country who has over 30 percent of its citizens living in destitution. What steps did the nation take to reverse years of trends? How can other struggling parts of the globe learn from Argentina?

Market-Friendly Policies
One of Argentinian President Mauricio Macri’s goals was to attract foreign financing. From 2003 to 2016, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Argentina averaged at $575 million. But in the second quarter of 2016, the FDI increased to $788 million. This amount represents the highest investment in the country since July 2014.

Steep Currency Devaluation
To combat record inflation, Macri took an unpopular measure. Currency devaluation in 2015 resulted in surging prices and a temporary increase in the country’s poor. Money was now worth less, though this was little comfort to those with little money to start.

All Macri’s program needed was time. Private sector investment and job creation rose in the past year, which led to more consumer spending. Not only has the poverty rate recovered from its drop, but the country now has a solid base of businesses and investments to continue its trends. A healthy economy tends to create lower poverty… though that truism doesn’t always hold.

Not Depending On Businesses Alone
Despite the advances made under Macri’s leadership, his government is riddled with issues. His critics claim that Macri’s attempts to court businesses only led to a widening gap between the rich and the poor. Reducing subsidies for electricity and gas led to a 40 percent rise in inflation in 2016.

But in a non-business sense, Macri’s initiatives represent a step forward. In 2013, former President Cristina Kirchner claimed that Argentina lowered its poverty rate to five percent, and refused to back that claim with evidence. The current state of Argentina challenges that dubious claim. More so than any business, the best move Argentina made for its impoverished was to admit it had a problem. For each positive gain spearheaded by Macri, government humility made them all possible.

Erasmo Mema, a political analyst from FTI Consulting, predicted that Argentina’s 2017 economic successes would make or break Macri’s legacy. As of November 2017, the Macri administration appears secure. But Mema warns Argentina that “…any foreign direct investment will have to be buttressed by the government’s commitment to transparency, [and] a sound economic policy…”

– Nick Edinger

Photo: Flickr

Why Is Argentina Poor

In 2017, over 13 million people live under the poverty line in Argentina. This accounts for almost 33 percent of the country’s population, a notable increase of almost four percent from the 2016 figures. So, why is poverty in Argentina so common and why is it getting worse?

In comparative regional terms, “poor” is not necessarily an accurate description of Argentina. The World Health Organization’s Human Development Index considers Argentina to have “very high human development.” It is one of only two South American countries on the list, along with neighboring Chile.

However, poverty in Argentina is growing, most likely due to the instability of the country’s economy. Since his election in 2015, President Mauricio Macri has introduced a series of economic reforms intended to spur growth, a total reversal of the previous government’s policies. The economy is indeed growing after surviving a 2016 recession, but reforms have simultaneously been condemned as damaging to the country’s poor. Inflation has swelled due to the lifting of currency controls, the cutting of utility subsidies and the reduction of agricultural export taxes.

Fortunately, President Macri recognizes that, while Argentina’s recession has ended, the poverty rate is increasing as a result. He came into office with a “zero poverty promise,” but in a statement in 2016, he acknowledged the considerable percentage of Argentines reaping little benefit from the nation’s new economy.

Prior to President Macri’s government, poverty in Argentina had already been a controversial subject. The populist former president Christina Kirchner, Macri’s political polar opposite, also failed to bring the poorest Argentines positive change. Under former President Kirchner, slums such as Villa 1-11-14 in Buenos Aires became so neglected, they had no official status or name.

Questioning why Argentina remains a harsh place for so many of its people must surely reflect on how the previous government essentially pretended poverty did not exist at all. Furthermore, President Macri’s reversal of Kirchner’s economic platform is symptomatic of the Argentinian political system, which often has to deal with frequent and catastrophic economic crises, having experienced two in the 21st century alone.

Actions taken in recent months suggest some relief is on the horizon for the nation’s poor. The government has agreed to introduce a “social emergency loan,” which will generate a million jobs and raise the salary of Argentina’s large “informal” economy, such as handiwork and cooperatives. Additionally, the country’s departure from its previous recession in the second half of 2016 could begin to see the economy rebound, bringing change for the less fortunate in the near future.

Jonathan Riddick

How to Help People in ArgentinaWith over 32 percent of the population living under the poverty line, nearly one-third of people in Argentina lack the funds to purchases a sufficient amount of food for their families. From 2015 to 2016 alone, the total number of citizens living under the poverty line increased by 1.5 million. In 2016, according to UNICEF, nearly half of Argentine children were living under the poverty line. Within the same report, findings showed that households with children are disproportionately affected by poverty than those without. Here are three nonprofits showing how to help people in Argentina who live in impoverished communities.

L.I.F.E. Argentina

This nonprofit works with youth living in extreme impoverished and marginalized communities within and in the surrounding suburbs of Buenos Aires. Partnering with local soup kitchens and community and education centers, L.I.F.E. Argentina aids school-age children by providing recreational and educational activities as well as supplying food, clothes and school supplies. Programs include Happy Birthday – a weekly celebration of birthdays at each community center, Play Time – a weekly recreational program that allows children to interact with games and crafts, as well as AIDS Awareness that informs youth about the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Their website offers examples on how to help people in Argentina, both by volunteering to work with youth in impoverished communities or by donating to help fund the continuation of their work.


According to UNESCO, there are 250 million children throughout the world who lack basic writing and reading skills. Worldreader strives to increase literacy among youth by providing e-readers – along with e-reader programs – to communities, promoting literary works by minority authors and conducting fieldwork to monitor the success of new digital publishing. Worldreader operates in 50 countries and 424 libraries and schools, and provides over 500,000 e-readers monthly. Individuals who are interested in helping can get involved in any of these three ways: making a single donation, sponsoring a school with monthly donations or becoming a corporate donor.

Medical Ambassadors International

The nonprofit Medical Ambassadors International works within impoverished communities to promote both spiritual and physical healing. The Christian medical organization focuses on providing medical resources for communities that lack basic access to health centers. This nonprofit also offers family and relationship counselling to help build stronger communities. For the past 35 years, Medical Ambassadors International has done work in 41 countries including Argentina. Making donations through their website allows funds to go toward geographic areas with the greatest need – one option for how to help impoverished people in Argentina.

Nonprofits such as these within Argentina are working to combat extreme poverty and the disadvantages it brings to marginalized communities. Spreading the word and getting people involved, either by donating or volunteering, is the first step to eradicating poverty and helping people in Argentina.

Riley Bunch

Photo: Flickr

Common Diseases in ArgentinaArgentina is a cultural hub that boasts an open and inclusive mindset and is widely considered to be a lovely place to live. The life expectancy in Argentina is 76 years, and the mortality rate is relatively low compared to other South American countries. While most Argentinians live healthy lives, there are several common diseases in Argentina that can be deadly.

Cardiovascular diseases account for more deaths in Argentina than any other disease, comprising almost 31 percent of deaths. Cancer has the second highest death toll with 21.2 percent of deaths. Chronic respiratory diseases also make up a large portion of the deaths in Argentina.

Infectious sicknesses are also common diseases in Argentina. Those living in or traveling to Argentina are considered at risk for the Zika virus, and pregnant women are strongly advised to avoid the area. Spread by mosquito bites, the disease can result in birth defects and there is currently no cure or method of prevention.

There are also common diseases in Argentina that can be spread through the consumption of food or water. Hepatitis A, hepatitis E and typhoid fever are contracted this way and can be fatal if they are not properly treated.

Argentina has also been dealing with a dengue outbreak. Last year, thousands of people suffered from the virus, and many officials were calling it an epidemic. This year, significantly fewer cases have been reported and healthcare specialists are optimistic that the outbreak is coming to a close. Dengue fever, similar to yellow fever, generally presents symptoms that are slightly worse than the flu, but in some cases can result in extreme bleeding which causes death.

While there are many common diseases in Argentina, the country has a solid healthcare system that provides public, private and Social Security coverage options. As long as the government continues to fund efforts to fight diseases, the death rate will continue to decrease.

Julia Mccartney

Photo: Flickr

Causes of Poverty in Argentina
The poverty crisis in Argentina is extreme. The government estimates more than a full third of the population is living below the poverty line, and 20% live on less than two dollars per day. Poverty in Argentina means that 11% of people are estimated to be unable to meet basic food needs, and the poverty crisis hits minority groups the hardest.

Those that live in the mountainous regions of the northwest have poverty rates of over 50%, and those residing in the rainforest regions of the northeast are even higher, at over 60%. Women and children are disproportionately affected as well, with poverty rates roughly twice that of the national average.

The causes of poverty in Argentina are systemic and deeply rooted in the history of the country. The late 1980s and early 90s marked when the Argentine economic system collapsed due to inflation rates of nearly 20,000%. No system has seemed to work properly since then, with severe economic recessions occurring in 2002 and 2016.

Inflation and Poverty in Argentina

Currently, inflation rates hover around 40 percent, which is one of the most significant causes of poverty in Argentina. Industries nationwide have been hobbled, and Argentinian exports have gotten reduced. Additionally, due to high inflation, both foreign investors and domestic consumers have little confidence in the potential of their purchasing power.

Despite the multitude of causes of poverty in Argentina, the country is far from without hope. Mauricio Macri, who got elected in 2015 as President, has staunched the flow of inflation and economic recession. He has eliminated many unnecessary government subsidies and tariffs, increased export revenue and unified the national exchange rate. This political change has led to increased production from the agricultural, real estate and construction sectors, as well as slowed inflation.

The struggle is far from over. With midterm elections approaching, Macri and his party recognize that the relatively minimal improvements may not be enough to allow his party to continue the good work they have begun. The deficit remains high, debt levels are rising and many of the worst affected people have yet to feel the end of the recession. There remains a great need for foreign investment and aid.  This support is necessary to both alleviate regions perennially affected by economic strife and to assist the country as a whole in raising itself to self-sufficiency.

Connor Keowen

Photo: Flickr