World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Latin American Poverty Levels Fall To Lowest in Two Decades

Latin American Poverty Levels Fall To Lowest in Two Decades, UN Report Finds

New York, Nov 30 2011 - Poverty rates in Latin America have dropped to their lowest levels in 20 years, according to a new United Nations report which highlights public spending levels as one of the key factors that has allowed the continent to continue to grow despite the global economic crisis.

Between 1990 and 2010, the poverty rate decreased from 48.4 per cent to 31.4 per cent, while the rate of indigence – or extreme poverty – fell from 22.6 per cent to 12.3 per cent.

The decline in both rates is mainly due to an increase in wages, according to the latest report by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC). Public money transfers were also a contributing factor, but to a much lesser extent.

The report, presented yesterday in Santiago, Chile, predicts that the region will close this year with 174 million people living in poverty compared to 177 million in 2010.

“Poverty and inequality continue to decline in the region, which is good news, particularly in the midst of an international economic crisis,” said ECLAC’s Executive Secretary Alicia Bárcena.

The report also forecasts that the poverty rate will continue to drop in the next year. However, it states that the indigence rate may have slightly increased (up to 12.8 per cent) because of the rise in food prices.

The report reveals that public spending, and in particular social expenditure, received a significant boost in most countries over the past 20 years.

“In response to the global economic crisis, the countries opted to temporarily expand public spending rather than to shrink it, which was the action traditionally taken. Although, the emphasis is not always placed on society, expansion still prevented the rise in unemployment and social vulnerability,” the report reads.

The report spotlights countries that had substantial drops in poverty in the past year, including Peru, Ecuador, Argentina, Uruguay and Colombia.

However, Ms. Bárcena warned that progress is threatened by gaps in the productive structure of the region and by labour markets without social protection. Only four out of every 10 workers with formal work are enrolled in the social security system, with a large majority of older persons, women, and workers in rural areas being left out of its benefits.

“To jointly improve productive convergence, labour institutionality and universal social protection in Latin America, steps towards fiscal pacts and social dialogue must be taken,” said Ms. Bárcena.

The report also discusses fertility in the continent, observing that over the past 50 years, the fertility rate dropped rapidly, compared with a moderate drop in adolescent fertility. In addition, a chapter on the Caribbean has been included for the first time, which warns of the high level of unemployment and incidence of HIV/AIDS among young people.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Peace Deal ‘first Step’ In Resolving South Sudan Crisis

Children at a protection of civilians site in Juba, South Sudan, run by the UN Mission, perform at a special cultural event in March 2015. UN Photo/JC McIlwaine More>>

Yemen: Killing Or Maiming An Average Of Eight Children A Day

Killing or maiming an average of eight children a day, ‘brutal’ Yemen conflict must end – UNICEF More>>

Changing Habits/behaviours Key To Overcome Vaccine Hesitancy

Vaccine hesitancy can be caused by factors such as negative beliefs based on myths, misinformation. Fear of needles can be a factor for refusal. Photo: PAHO/WHO More>>

Burundi: Ban Condemns Assassination Of Senior Army Officer

Refugees from Burundi in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Photo: OCHA/Naomi Frerotte United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has condemned the assassination Burundi’s former Army Chief of Staff, Colonel Jean Bikomagu, who ... More>>

Deadly Industrial Explosions In Northern China

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has been deeply saddened to learn of the loss of life and the injuries to scores of people as a result of deadly explosions in Tianjin, China. More>>

UN Urges Action To Tackle Deepening Refugee Crisis In Greece

A group of Syrian refugees arrive on the island of Lesbos after travelling in an inflatable raft from Turkey, near Skala Sykaminias, Greece. Photo: UNHCR/A. McConnell More>>

Probe Into Those Responsible For Chemical Weapons In Syria

The US Vessel Cape Ray, on which all 581 metric tonnes of a precursor chemical for sarin gas were removed from Syria and safely destroyed as the ship sailed in international waters in 2014. Photo: US Dept. of Transportation More>>

Myanmar Election: UNICEF Urges Prioritisation Of Children

With 99 days to go before Myanmar elections, UNICEF urges candidates make children the clear winner More>>

Liberia Thousands Of Unregistered Children Born During Ebola Crisis

Thousands of unregistered children born in Liberia during Ebola crisis at risk of exploitation – UNICEF More>>

UN Refugee Agency Envoy Angelina Jolie Visits Myanmar

UNHCR Special Envoy Angelina Jolie Pitt (left) in Myitkyina township, Kachin State, Myanmar, meeting with some of the 100,000 displaced people who currently live there. Photo: UNHCR/T.Stoddart More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news