Social Panorama of Latin America 2006

image of Social Panorama of Latin America 2006

In the last four years, Latin America has turned in its best performance in twenty-five years in economic and social terms. Progress with poverty reduction, falling unemployment, improving income distribution in several countries and a strong upswing in numbers of jobs are the main factors underlying the positive trend in a number of the region's countries. The first two chapters of in this report look at the way the main social indicators have behaved in the last few years. The following two chapters address matters that, for different reasons, have come to figure prominently on government agendas.



Public institutions responsible for family matters

Many countries lack government institutions for family matters with the sufficient funding, human resources and authority to tackle the problems faced by families. The absence of bodies to oversee family issues in a cross–cutting way throughout the various government bodies leads to a lack of coordination and duplication in family programmes. In some countries, however, there is a move towards networking to coordinate family policies and programmes. Although this development promises to be beneficial in terms of the coverage, relevance, quality and sustainability of measures, there are major difficulties when it comes to implementation. According to the authorities, poverty remains one of the main problems faced by families in Latin America, along with family violence and the breakdown of the family unit in the wake of migration and forced displacement. Another concern is the demographic changes affecting families, particularly the ageing of the population and the problems of caring for older people that are aggravated by limited access to basic services.


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