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.




Since the public resources allocated to social sectors have significant distributive effects, ECLAC has highlighted three general objectives in relation to such spending: (i) intensifying efforts to raise the level and consolidate the recovery of social expenditure in the region, especially in those countries where it is still very low, both in absolute (per capita) terms and in relation to the gross domestic product (GDP); (ii) stabilizing its financing to forestall the serious adverse effects of spending cuts during economic downturns; and (iii) increasing its efficiency and positive impact, particularly for those components directed to vulnerable or poor groups.


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