Peru’s ‘Toni’ Aggressively Confronts Coronavirus Economic Impact

Peruvian government took ambitious measures to maintain its economy during COVID-19 pandemic

lima peru from the coastline

Peru’s new Minister of Economy and Finance was, until recently, not particularly well known, even in her own country. 

In recent weeks, María Antonieta Alva has pushed the Peruvian government to take a series of very ambitious and aggressive economic measures to counter the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on the economy, reported Bloomberg on May 3, 2020.

As of May 5th, Peru had confirmed 1,444 fatalities related to the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus pandemic during 2020. These deaths were primarily centered in the capital city of Lima.

The ability to explain the economic measures adopted during the emergency in a simple way has earned Alva great popularity.

Peru announced a huge package of economic measures equal to 12 percent of the country's GDP - one of the most aggressive packages in the world when compared to the size of the national economy.

The measures include both an increase in public expenditure and tax breaks, and a series of government-guaranteed loans to companies in difficulty.

Alva has become "a rock star," wrote Bloomberg.

Alva was born in Lima, the capital of Peru, and holds a master's degree in public administration from Harvard. She was appointed Minister of Economy and Finance during October 2020 and has since become an increasingly central figure in the government.

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“From a Latin perspective, Peru is a clear leader in terms of macro response,” said Ricardo Hausmann, a Harvard economist who was Alva’s professor and is leading a team of experts advising Peru on mitigating the effects of coronavirus.

“You could have imagined a very different outcome if Toni weren’t there,” reported Bloomberg.

During the early stages of the pandemic, Peru enforced strict measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus disease, restricting public movement by gender.

Men could only leave home on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, with women, permitted to travel on the other days. Except on Sunday, when everyone was restricted, reported the BBC. 

According to a recent survey carried out by Ipsos, Alva is now the most popular minister of the Vizcarra government, with 75 percent of the votes.

SARS-CoV-2 outbreak news reported by CoronavirusToday.