“Over S/.30 million are Lost Everyday Due to Inefficient Allocating of Funds”

By Mariella Balbi – El Comercio
Translation: Vanessa Castro Chesterton- Living in Peru

This Saturday 15th “Modulo Crecer”, the social development program designed to reduce poverty will begin work in the district of Ate Vitarte.

The technical secretary for the Interministerial Commission of Social Affairs and President of “Juntos”, Ivan Hidalgo gave an interview with Mariella Balbi where he discussed the situation of affairs.  

Will the “Modulo Peru” program, set to fight against poverty, announced by Prime Minister Simon only pertain to metropolitan Lima?

The national growth strategy will enter the metropolitan sector which has been designated “Modulo Peru”. It will begin in Lima and we will progressively move to other cities were poverty exists. Growth through the “Juntos” program works by going to the poorest rural districts. As a result of the crisis we must think of the effect it will have on the poor of the cities. This year in Lima we plan to tend to 672 housing developments in 14 districts in the metropolitan area and one in Callao. That means approximately 1,000,000 people will be benefited. 

How will it work?

We will work through the ministries with social development programs. An example is the Mimdes which will develop a program against domestic violence; the Pronaa will give talks on proper nutrition and it will also give the people they are working with products at lower prices.

Will supplies be given out?

That has not been considered. That has already been done and it is not enough.

The Prime Minister said the money for “Modulo Peru” already exists.

In 2008 S/.3.000 million were put aside for nine strategic social development products, as a result of things we are going ahead with a S/.4.300 million budget. 

How much will “Modulo Peru” spend?

“Modulo Peru” is a result of the action of all the different spheres of the government helping impoverished areas. The budget for each is already set. It is the “Crecer” strategic plan designed to help poor areas, everything comes from social development programs which already have increases in their allowances. They allocated their investment in underprivileged neighborhoods. Cofopri and the Commission to Fight against Poverty as well as the leaders of the project will all be there. They will discuss the difficulties and what is lacking in the proposal as well as the government’s response. Programs against domestic violence, Inabif, Wawa Wasi will have larger representation in those areas. It is about the states presence being felt in these impecunious regions.

What is the goal?

To reduce vulnerability and prevent that the crisis increase malnutrition as well as making sure the youth gets an opportunity to enter the work force.

What are your original figures and where would you like them to get to?

In Lima we have 3, 9% of extreme poverty, the objective is to reduce half a point this year. Poverty is at 19% and we want to reduce that by two points.
How much employment do you plan on generating?

About 50 thousand jobs…

The Prime Minister said 100 thousand…

That is counting the region of Lima. We are more concerned with the districts. For example “Building Peru” must focus on building foundation walls in housing developments. That will create jobs. We can tie in mothers in base organizations with a productive occupation. Pronaa or Wawa Wasi can help create small and medium enterprises that would provide food for schools. We look for social development programs to create jobs.

What will you do with the group of beneficiaries?

In “Juntos” we have that problem solved. In Lima we will divide our efforts into 672 different housing developments in 14 districts, where conditions of extreme poverty can be found. Every citizen has a DNI and if they don’t we give them one. The INEI and Sisfho (Individual Identification and Home Focalization) as well as the PCM look to reduce this grave problem for the country. In Lima over S/.30 million are lost everyday due to inefficient allocating of funds.

Besides every program having its list of beneficiaries, will “Modulo Peru” have one?

Yes. We will structure a patron cross referencing the information from the Pronaa, the SIS and with base organizations and municipalities…

Will the Sisfho be used?

Of course it will, we will also cross reference the information from the INEI. The Sisfho works with decimals, so when it goes to an area of extreme poverty within the population span of one block, five are within the system and five are not. What happens is that there is a slight difference between poverty and extreme poverty. We must go to the neighborhoods where there is no water and no light. It is a health issue (a caloric balance), with running water, electricity and education. That is what we want to do in Lima. The National Center for Food and Nourishment is preparing a list of recipes to have the necessary caloric intake under S/.10.

Why does “Modulo Peru” not distribute money like “Juntos”?

It is a complex issue; in the fields it is easy to tell who the poorest are while in the city it is more difficult. We are talking about financial transfers for a million people.

Will “Modulo Peru” be in other cities?

I think that in the second semester of this year it will have reached the poorest sectors in major cities.

But doesn’t “Modulo Peru” work under the same economic conditions and stipulations as “Juntos”.

One of the conditions can be, for example, finishing high school. That is why schools have attendance records.

The Anti-crisis plan mentions the additional increase of S/.300 million for social development programs, that’s very little isn’t it?

That is additional to the 4.300 million budgeted. Remember that last year it was S/.3.000 million. We incorporate into the budget what works…

And what doesn’t you just cancel? We are talking about human beings…

Resources are given to the programs which are efficient, the ones with concrete results. We give out roughly estimated budgets every year.

How much was poverty reduced by in 2008?

From 2006 to 2007 it was reduced from 44, 5% to 39, 2%. The year before it was four points. In these last two years poverty was reduced by almost 10%. And extreme poverty has been reduced from 17, 3% to 13, 7%. The estimation for 2008 will be done in June. In 2011 we will get to where we want to go and poverty will have been reduced to 30 %. With the crisis maybe the pace will slow down a bit. We must not forget that the anti-crisis plan is intensive in labor and that will allow us to fight against poverty. 

What will the increase of 1.300 million translate to in regard to poverty?

It will translate to better health care, education and nutrition. In the metropolitan area it means an increase in hospital capacity, more doctors and more supplies. In Lima, in education there is no cover deficit or infrastructure. Surely that will improve and there will be more supplies for the children. Quality is a long term issue.

The private sector was not in the “Modulo Peru” presentation.

It will be summoned in 15 days. Confiep will surely be there. Companies can hire women so they can prepare school breakfasts and lunches. 

Why aren’t social development programs fused together?

I support this while inquiring as to where the bottle necks are because there have been internal problems within the social development programs in regard to their fusion. Some OPD’s have also managed to defuse themselves through a judicial decree.