Social Panorama of Latin America 2002-2003

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The 2002-2003 edition of the Social panorama of Latin America explores issues related to many of the Millennium Development Goals. Three of the five chapters (on poverty, hunger and gender inequality) assess how likely it is that the countries of the region will succeed in meeting the targets in these areas agreed upon by the States Members of the United Nations for 2015.A chapter on social expenditure furnishes information on 18 Latin American countries and analyses trends in social spending over the last decade. The final chapter examines labour policy and singles out some interesting initiatives aimed at combating unemployment, poor job quality and underemployment.



Towards achieving the goal of eradicating hunger in latin america and the caribbean

Latin American and the Caribbean are expected to show some progress in combating hunger, although it is likely to prove insufficient considering the serious nature of the problem. It is probable that 13 out of the 22 countries will achieve both of the targets set under the first Millennium Development Goal: halving the proportion of undernourished people and halving the percentage of malnourished children. However, the situation in the region is not promising: four countries with high rates of malnutrition among children (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua) have not managed to lower the incidence of low body weight among children under five years of age at a rate that will allow them to achieve this target. In addition, it is very probable that nine of the 22 countries (the previous four plus Dominican Republic, Haiti, Panama, Trinidad and Tobago and Venezuela) will not manage to halve the proportion of undernourished people between 1990 and 2015. Only a few countries (Argentina, Chile, Jamaica and Uruguay) are highly likely to meet the most demanding target set at the FAO World Food Summit in 1996: halving the number (not only the proportion) of undernourished people by 2015.


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