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El Salvador: Poverty Assessment: Strengthening Social Policy

 

El Salvador FY05 PA

Full Text (12.71mb PDF)

The experience of the 1990s suggests that economic growth has been - and will continue to be - a key feature of El Salvador's accomplishments in reducing poverty. This means that there will be high returns for poverty reduction when the Government of El Salvador takes the necessary measure to reinvigorate economic growth in the 2000s - through policies and investments that: (1) increase education levels of the population, (2) develop the country's economic infrastructure, (3) foster greater technology adoption and local innovation, and (4) improve the investment climate (including making efforts to reduce violence and increase the rule of law). The fact that many of the poorest, most vulnerable Salvadorans have been unable to take advantage of recent growth suggests, however, that it will be increasingly important for El Salvador to put in place a coherent set of policies and investments to ensure that the poor can share in and benefit from future economic progress. To build effectively on past achievements, it will thus be important for El Salvador to craft a national social policy that builds on recent accomplishments to strengthen the human capital of all Salvadorans, and strengthens people's access to markets and basic services. For many of the remaining poor, better access to quality education and health care, and greater access to markets and basic services, such as safe water, will be sufficient to enable them to escape from poverty. Nonetheless, there are others who will still lack the capacity to take advantage of new and emerging opportunities and who will be especially vulnerable in the face of shocks. A third key element of a national social policy will thus be to put in place the instruments to assist and protect the poorest, most vulnerable members of society.

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