A Bill that seeks to eliminate poverty in Paraguay was presented by Martín Burt in a public hearing
“This public presentation is more than original, it is a challenge for us parliamentarians,” said the president of the Senate, Blas Llano, giving rise to the public hearing for the presentation of the “Poverty Elimination” Bill at the National Congress. The project, of which Llano and his colleague Fernando Silva Facetti were the promoters, is based on the Poverty Stoplight methodology, created by PhD. Martín Burt, founder of the Fundación Paraguaya which is an organization with 35 years of experience working with vulnerable communities developing poverty elimination programs.
This project ensures that, by training some 8,000 already existing employees and generating a joint work of the different State ministries, to then appointing them as family extension agents, the difficulties and deficiencies of each family can be exponentially reduced in an effective and efficient way, reducing public spending and progressively eliminating poverty of Paraguayan families. “We have designed a tool, the Poverty Stoplight, that allows families to measure themselves, this turned out to be revolutionary,” said Martin Burt during the presentation. He also said that the main participation should be given to the families themselves so that they can trace their way out of poverty. “Our unity is the family, the family is the one that eats and sleeps under the same roof,” said the Executive Director of Fundación Paraguaya.
This initiative aims at involving the State in a comprehensive manner, organizations and companies that wish to build a better Paraguay, which is why it was assigned to various Senate Commissions, such as Legislation, Human Rights, Equity and Gender, Economy and Social Development. This innovative proposal has already been implemented at the public policy level by the Government of President Lenin Moreno, in Ecuador.
Fundación Paraguaya, using its Poverty Stoplight methodology and promoted in over 20 countries, has managed to accompany more than 30,000 Paraguayan families to overcome income poverty during the past 5 years. It has won several international awards, including the “Juscelino Kubitschek” Visionaries Award, granted by the Inter-American Development Bank, which selected a Paraguayan organization for the first time among more than 600 organizations in Latin America.
The Bill proposes to measure poverty in a multidimensional way and not only by means of income; to use technology to consult the families about what they need and thus provide accurate geo-referenced information on the situation of each family to the more than 96 social programs that the Government has, with the objective of using the state resources more efficiently.
Another one of the innovative topics of this proposal is the challenge of not considering the Paraguayan population by number of inhabitants, but by number of families: “In Paraguay there are no 7,500,000 people, there are 1,600,000 families. A child cannot leave poverty behind alone; and we cannot consider that a mother, whose child does not get vaccinated, has overcome poverty. If we take the reality from the family, it is easier to be able to give effective and real solutions; we hope that this Bill can be the gateway to the elimination of poverty in Paraguay in a real and definitive way,” said Burt.
“With this Bill I see a light at the end of the road and not just a patch to alleviate poverty,” said National Deputy, Sebastian Garcia, who also highlighted the courage of Martín Burt to face a vicious system that ends up perpetuating poverty.