Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean 2016

Economic growth alone will not reduce poverty and inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean. This is one of UNDP’s key messages for its upcoming Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean “Multidimensional Progress: Well-being beyond income”, to be launched early 2016.

"Clearly, ‘more of the same’ in terms of growth—and public policies—will no longer yield ‘more of the same’ in poverty and inequality reduction," said UN Assistant Secretary General and UNDP Director for Latin America and the Caribbean Jessica Faieta.

"Higher economic growth does not necessarily generate greater social progress: different policies must be in place, particularly at a time when fiscal resources, crucial to expand social safety nets, have shrunk."

UNDP stresses that people’s wellbeing must reflect “more than income” alone, calling on the region’s leaders to focus on "multidimensional progress". This includes investing in skills for better employment opportunities, in financial systems that prevent over-indebtedness and reducing gender gaps.


About 1.5 million more men and women will fall into poverty by the end of this year. Foto: UNDP El Salvador / César Avilés

With the recent economic downturn, UNDP estimates that about 1.5 million more men and women will fall into poverty by the end of this year. They will join the 1.7 million people in the region who already fell into poverty in 2014 —the first time in a decade— according to UNDP estimates.

This new upcoming report shows that what determines people to be "lifted from poverty" (quality education and employment) is different from what "avoids their fallback into poverty" (existence of social safety nets and household assets).

UNDP is focusing on how to build "resilience", or the ability to absorb external shocks—financial crisis or natural disasters—without major social and economic setbacks. This is particularly important for the region’s 200 million vulnerable people: those who are neither “poor”, living below a US$4/day poverty line, nor have risen to the middle class.

In this context UNDP is preparing its 2016 Human Development Report, which will also include policy recommendations that reflect the transition from the Millennium Development Goals to the new global development agenda, with the Sustainable Development Goals, which will be launched in September 2015 during the UN General Assembly in New York.

This third Human Development Report for Latin America and the Caribbean is an editorially independent publication commissioned by UNDP. This report is being prepared with financial support from the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID, in Spanish). Over 20 regional authorities take part in the report’s Advisory Board including ministers, senators, academics and the current leaders of the region’s major multilateral organizations.

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