Although Argentina remains one of the G20’s major economies, it faces unequal wealth distribution among its urban and rural populations. Approximately 93 percent of Argentina’s 43 million citizens live in developed urban cities; however, the remaining seven percent are excluded from economic advancement and access to basic needs. Suffering from socioeconomic exclusion, this group anchors Argentina’s economic growth and stunts long-term prosperity.
- Unmet Basic Needs: 33 percent of the rural population has some variation of unmet basic needs such as, housing, sanitation, education, healthcare, and nutrition.
- Poverty: Roughly 40 percent of the rural population lives in poverty, with close to 25 percent of children under five suffering from malnutrition.
Argentina can provide socioeconomic inclusion in rural areas, by providing:
- Education: Access to education within rural Argentina is critical for long-term economic development and the alleviation of poverty. The Argentinian government should implement teacher incentives in rural areas to increase the supply of high-quality educators. These may include rotational programs, stipends, professional development, housing subsidies, tax reductions, and credit towards promotions. Further investment in school infrastructure, transportation, and educational resources should also be a focus.
- Infrastructure: Minimal electricity, potable water, and roads are common in many areas. Basic infrastructure development in rural Argentina will end the cycle that leads to multi-generational poverty. Additionally, infrastructure development will stimulate local economies in the short-term through job creation and assist in bridging the socio-economic gap.
- Access to Capital through Loan Programs: Many rural populations suffer from insufficient capital and an inability to secure loans for personal and small business purchases. Outreach programs that educate rural populations on the availability and application process for financial assistance will support these efforts.