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Social Panorama of Latin America 2002-2003

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2002-2003

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.

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Hunger and extreme poverty

Having a high percentage of the population, especially children, suffering from undernourishment is a sure way to perpetuate extreme poverty. Although combating poverty is an important step towards reducing hunger, efforts to eliminate poverty per se cannot be expected to guarantee the achievement, within a reasonable time span, of the first Millennium Development Goal, which is to eradicate hunger. Extreme poverty and hunger are closely related, but they are not the same thing. A portion of the undernourished population does not belong to the poorest population groups. By the same token, not all people with very low incomes exhibit the most acute consequences of food scarcity.

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