LA PAZ, May 16 (Xinhua) -- The Bolivian government said Thursday the country's extreme poverty rate has fallen to 20 percent of the total population, as more people continued to benefit from an extended pension program.
Economy and Finance Minister Luis Arce Catacora said that extreme poverty -- a condition in which people live on less than 1.25 U.S. dollars per day -- will be eradicated by 2015 in the South America's poorest country.
The current extreme poverty rate is down by a half from the 2005 figure, which stands at 38.2 percent.
People's livelihood has improved in recent years thanks to the so-called "Dignity Income", a program expected to cover at least one million people by 2015, said Catacora.
Catacora said that the success of the program was evident particularly in the rural areas, where the extreme poverty rate was slashed by 40 percent in the first five years of its implementation.
President Evo Morales introduced the "Dignity Income" program in November 2007, granting an yearly payment of 2,400 bolivianos (about 340 U.S. dollars) to people aged above 60 without any pension.
Recently, the sum has been increased to 3,000 bolivianos (434 dollars) per year. The government estimated that the overall payments will exceed 430 million U.S. dollars.