After years of improving poverty figures, the latest report of Coneval, the national council for evaluating social programs, showed a sharp deterioration in social indicators. The number of Mexicans unable to meet basic needs for health, food, housing, clothing, transportation, and education rose from 44.7 million in 2006 to 50.5 million in 2008. Those lacking sufficient income to meet basic food needs (estimated at Ps. 707 per month) increased to 19.5 million from 14.4 million persons. At the same time, the reach of the government’s social assistance programs continues to grow. Coneval said that in 1992 89% of the poorest fifth of the population had no access to government social programs. By 2006 this had fallen to 38% and in 2008 to 31%. (Universal 7/19, Coneval)
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