U.N. agency says 45 percent of Latin America's children live in poverty

15:07, May 18, 2011      

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About 81 million children and adolescents in Latin America, or the equivalent of about 45 percent of this population group, live in poverty, two United Nations agencies said in a new report Tuesday.

The report, entitled "Child Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean", is jointly written by the U.N. Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef).

The report said there is a great heterogeneity among the countries in the region, with Bolivia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Peru reporting more than two thirds of their children and adolescents to be living in poverty while in Chile, Costa Rica and Uruguay less that one of every four minors live in poverty.

The report is based on research carried out between 2008 and 2009 and

measures the different dimensions of child poverty in the region in accordance with the International Convention on Children' s Rights that has been in place since 1989.

The research analyzed nutrition levels, access to portable water, sanitation services, housing quality, the number of people living per room and also their school attendance and access to the media.

The research also took into account the income level of the children's homes and the potential capacity of these resources to satisfy their basic needs.

Alicia Barcena, ECLAC's executive secretary, and Unicef Regional Director Bernt Aasen, said in the report that in order to eradicate poverty among children the governments in the region must integrate social, labor and macroeconomic policies.

"In order to advance in the issue of child poverty it is necessary to invest in the children and reduce the persistent socio-economic, territorial, ethnic and gender inequalities present in all the countries of the region," the report said.

Source: Xinhua
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