Tuesday, October 13, 2009

One Third of Latin America will meet the MDGs

One third of Latin America is likely to meet the Millennium Development Goals according to Alicia Bárcena, executive secretary of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean. In an interview with IPS she says the goals of child health and primary education will be met. Barcena talked to reporter Suzanne Hoeksema.

IPS: When talking about the Millennium Development Goals, which Latin American and Caribbean countries are expected to meet which goals and which countries are still lagging behind?

ALICIA BÁRCENA: Chile is doing remarkably well and it will most likely be able to stick to the first MDG, reducing extreme poverty by 50 percent. In Honduras, on the other hand, the situation is worrisome with 49.4 percent of the population still living under conditions of extreme poverty.

Uruguay, Argentina, Costa Rica, Brazil, Panama, Venezuela and Mexico have made considerable improvements in terms of poverty reduction and investing in the poor. However, the distribution of wealth and filling the inequality gap remains a huge challenge, particularly in Brazil and Mexico.

One of the continent's major successes in fighting poverty is the Conditional Cash Transfer programme (CCT) which provides money directly to poor families via a social contract with the beneficiaries – sending children to school and bringing them to health centres. Cash provides emergency assistance, while the conditionalities promote longer-term investments in human capital.

CCT has proved to be notably successful when provided to women. The programme does not only make women more independent, it also benefits other MDGs such as primary school attendance by boys and girls and children's health. I expect that most countries will meet both of these goals.

Unfortunately, maternal mortality remains high. The maternal health MDG will not be easily met. First and foremost in the rural oriented countries, women have limited access to health care or they choose to deal with intimate health issues themselves.

1 comment:

Molly said...

Last year, 116 million people Stood Up to end poverty, breaking the Guinness Book of World Records as the biggest human mobilization in history. This year, we aim to break that record and demand that our leaders deliver on their promise to achieve the Millennium Development Goals and end poverty by 2015.

Check out the new video about this record breaking mobilization: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yWzcyXQYm6w

Be a part of this groundbreaking movement and be counted on October 16-18 by adding the new Stand Up online widget to your website and asking your friends to take action online:

If you'd like to know how many people took part in your online action, register your online action and get a personalized embed-code. Just check the box that says “Online event” in Step One of the event registration process. At the end of the registration, you’ll get an embed code to use on your website.

Stand Up and be counted with us on October 16-18th!