San Juan (Agenzia Fides) - As Congress debates legislative solutions for Puerto Rico's financial crisis (see Fides 18/03/2016, 12/04/2016), new reports indicate that the island's child poverty rate is worse than previously feared and that migration is increasing. According to a new report from the Institute for Youth Development, 57 percent of youth under 18 in Puerto Rico live below the poverty line. Nearly 41 percent of households with youth under 18 receive food stamps.
The note sent to Fides by the "Jubilee USA Network", the network of organizations and religious communities committed to promoting poverty reduction and to finding solutions to the crisis triggered by international indebtedness of economically weaker countries, reports the opinion of Eric LeCompte, a debt expert and executive director of the NGO: "Congressional action must include strong, comprehensive and orderly restructuring tools to bring the debt back to payable levels". He also points out: "Legislation must also set clear targets to reduce child poverty". LeCompte wrote a letter to Congress to request that, as part of the legislative measures proposed for Puerto Rico, priority should be given to the reduction of child poverty. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 21/04/2016)