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Social Panorama of Latin America 2005

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2005

The 2005 edition of the Social Panorama of Latin America analyses recent poverty trends and the increase in migrant remittances, together with their impact on the well-being of the region's population. The analysis seeks to explore the question as to whether the demographic transition taking place in the Latin American countries over the past 15 years has helped to narrow the long-standing gaps between different socio-economic groups' and areas' mortality and birth rates. Attention is also drawn to the magnitude of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Caribbean countries and to the reversal of its skewed gender distribution, which has had a devastating impact on households and the community at large. Finally, this edition looks at major changes in the health sector.

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Introduction

In earlier editions of the Social Panorama of Latin America, taking into account the considerable redistributive effects of public resources allocated to social sectors, ECLAC highlighted three general goals for social spending in the region. First, to intensify efforts to increase that spending and consolidate its recovery, particularly in the poorest countries, where the priority attached to public social spending and the amount of that spending remain extremely low. Second, to stabilize its financing in order to avoid adverse effects resulting from cuts in the resources allocated to social investment during recessionary phases in the economic cycle. Third, to improve the targeting and the positive effects of public spending on social sectors, particularly population groups which are vulnerable or in situations of poverty, reallocating it to those components of social spending which have the greatest progressive impact in terms of income distribution.

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