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LatinNews Daily - 23 March 2021

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In brief: Coneval warns poverty in Mexico will last

* John Scott, an academic researcher at Mexico’s national council of evaluation of social development policy (Coneval), has warned that it will take more time than expected for poverty levels in Mexico to fall back to those observed prior to the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. In an interview with national daily El Universal, Scott said that it took ten years to recover from the 2009 global financial crisis, which was less serious than the current economic crisis caused by the impact of the pandemic. With Mexico’s GDP shrinking 8.2% in 2020, Scott highlights that Coneval has found that labour poverty in Mexico (where people’s income is insufficient to cover the cost of a basic basket of food) rose from 35.7% of the population to 40.7% at the close of 2020 - equivalent to nearly 52m people. Scott said that as a result of unemployment, households have been forced to adopt costly strategies which have affected their future prospects – for example, using savings which would have otherwise enabled them to have better resources in the future by investing in education for their children. He also criticised the government for failing to do enough to counter the impact of the pandemic in terms of addressing poverty.