impoverished child Thomas Trutschel | Getty Images

La pobreza más allá de los números

ASUNCIÓN – ¿Qué es la pobreza? Durante décadas la hemos definido con un número, que actualmente el Banco Mundial considera como un ingreso personal de menos de 1,90 USD por día. Pero un único número no es capaz de captar toda la complejidad de la pobreza. Para entender las necesidades de los pobres y brindarles una asistencia óptima es fundamental ir más allá de medir solo el ingreso.

El Banco Mundial está convocando a sus Reuniones de Primavera en Washington D. C. para la próxima semana y eso nos da la oportunidad de fijar referencias que incluyan las dimensiones social y ambiental de la pobreza. El Banco ha reconocido que se deben considerar otras cosas además del ingreso y recientemente estableció una Comisión para la Medición de la Pobreza Mundial para recomendar indicadores adicionales.

Aunque muchos grupos públicos y privados ya recopilan datos sobre diversos temas que afectan a las comunidades pobres —como la nutrición, la salud materna o el acceso a la educación—, esa información es poco aprovechada y raramente se comparte con otras instituciones. Pero existen algunas señales que pueden servir de orientación, entre las que se cuentan el Índice de Progreso Social, que proporciona un marco para el seguimiento de múltiples síntomas de la pobreza en los distintos países y complementa las medidas tradicionales basadas en el ingreso.

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