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Austerity may thwart poverty progress in Latin America

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Subject

Poverty and income inequality.

Significance

On January 26, the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) released its latest annual report on poverty and income distribution. In a mixed picture marked by important differences between countries, it found that progress in reducing total poverty has stalled, and extreme poverty has increased slightly. However, income inequality appears to be continuing to diminish, although more slowly than before the 2008-09 crisis.

Impacts

  • Since 2011, government social spending again appears to have become pro-cyclical, hampering progress on poverty.
  • The gender gap remains the largest stumbling block to reducing poverty and inequality.
  • In the poorest countries, there are not only more poor people but they also suffer more types of deprivation.
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