LatinNews Daily - 29 March 2021

In brief: Pandemic drives up poverty in Peru

* The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has released its latest assessment of the economic impact of the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic in Peru, which found that poverty increased substantially in 2020 compared with the previous year. The IMF found that the pandemic pushed the poverty rate up to 27.5% of the population (an increase of 5.8 percentage points year-on-year). This equates to a further 1.8m Peruvians living below the poverty line compared with 2019. The IMF analysis found that government cash transfers substantially mitigated the economic effects of the pandemic; although moderate poverty increased by 6 percentage points in 2020, the IMF estimates that this would have increased by 10 percentage points without the hand-outs. The IMF projects that a further round of the most generous cash transfers (PEN$2,760 [US$767] per household) would substantially reduce the poverty rate, perhaps even bringing it down to pre-pandemic levels.