The ruling National Liberation Party (PLN) candidate for president, Johnny Araya, unveiled two social welfare programs aimed at addressing the nearly 340,000 Costa Ricans who live in extreme poverty.
Araya proposed a food benefit program that would provide approximately $40 per month to each Costa Rican living in extreme poverty. Araya’s second proposal would build new houses or improve the current homes of 125,000 Costa Rican families.
“This is the social face that we want to have in our next government,” Araya said in a statement. “And it’s one of our principal proposals to reduce poverty and social inequality in Costa Rica.”
Araya’s plan calls for the monthly food stipend to gradually increase. It would benefit 44,808 Costa Ricans in 2014 and cover nearly 340,000 by 2017, he said. The yearly cost for 340,000 beneficiaries would be approximately $164 million. Araya said that the funds would come from surpluses in the Social Development and Family Allowance Fund (FODESAF) and funds from the Mixed Institute for Social Aid. Funds for 2016 and 2017 would come from proposals made by Araya.
The Araya campaign said the housing proposal would cost approximately $170 million, and also would rely on funds from FODESAF. The housing program would also increase over the four-year presidential term, he said. The plan called for building 40,000 new residences and 5,000 middle-class residences.