DFID keeps informed about poverty and income levels in Peru through its regional Andean office, based in La Paz Bolivia. Currently, national poverty rates put total poverty (moderate and extreme) at 54.7 per cent., and extreme poverty at 21.5 per cent. of the population 1 . Average household income is estimated at 317 Nuevo Soles per person per month (just under US$100). Inequality in Peru is a grave problem and poverty is much higher in rural areas, where total poverty is 76.4 per cent. and extreme poverty 45.6 per cent., versus 43.0 per cent. and 8.5 per cent. for urban areas.
There have been some improvements in the country-wide situation during recent years. Between 2001 and 2003, overall poverty remained the same, but extreme poverty fell slightly from 24.2 per cent. Additionally, since the mid-1990s, housing conditions have improved—for example, the percentage of the population with access to improved sanitation rose from 50.3 per cent. in 1995 to 57.0 per cent. in 2002. Urban youth unemployment in young people has fallen slightly, from 14.3 per cent. to 12.4 per cent. in the same period. 2
1 Statistic in this submission are based on household income data collected by the National Institute of Statistics and Information.