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.



Multidimensional manifestations of poverty

A holistic look at the social situation in Latin America, covering not only the problem of insufficient income to meet basic needs but also shortfalls in other areas, shows that significant headway has been made in improving the population’s quality of life in the past decade. Life expectancy, child mortality, illiteracy and access to drinking water are some of the indicators that have improved steadily since at least the 1980s. Social development is far from having reached an acceptable level in many countries of the region, however. Sharp disparities in access to social services within individual countries are another impediment to the achievement of more comprehensive social development.


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