The 2015 World Bank and International Monetary Fund annual meetings took place in Lima, Peru. The highest authorities of both institutions, ministers of economy and finance, and governors of central banks, met in Lima to discuss poverty issues worldwide and policies to alleviate it. Both institutions agree in their analysis of Peru’s economy: the last decade Peru grew at an average of 7%, but now is at 3%. Peru was able to make great advances towards eliminating poverty, cutting it to half. But now, with less resources, it will much more difficult to fight poverty in Peru.
At the ground level, it is easy to agree with such analysis. It is not as easy as few years ago to find a job, and salaries are stagnant. Meanwhile, due to fast economic growth in previous years, prices are high. All this affects the poorest the most, since they now have to face higher prices with the same or less income.
At Alto Progreso, the shanty town were volunteers serve, the youth have tremendous trouble finding jobs after graduating High School. In the past, they could find jobs in construction. But now construction has stalled, so there is not much for them to do since school is too expensive for them.
At PPA, the children’s home were Global Volunteers provides psychosocial support, labor and other services, things are not looking well either. A slower economy means two things: less money for public institutions and for private companies to fight poverty in Peru. Since PPA is a public institution, its budget will be affected. On top of that, private institutions, with less money on their hands, will tend to cut donations to institutions such as PPA.
La Molina Language Center
Finally, at La Molina Language Center, we see a dilemma. On the one hand students see more and more the necessity to learn English to be able to get a job once they graduate. On the other hand, they have less resources to pursue such education. That’s is why volunteers’ service here is vital, as they provide free conversational English classes to these students. Once you are in Peru you can understand what a slowing economy means for a Third World country with a third of its population living in poverty or extreme poverty. Come and see it for yourself, come to make a difference.