Wednesday, November 29, 2023
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ECLAC called to eradicate inequality and poverty in the region

Santiago de Chile, Oct 3 (Prensa Latina) Expanding and deepening social protection systems and providing coverage to the most vulnerable people is a challenge, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) warned today.

When presenting the Social Institutionality Report in the region, the executive secretary of that UN mechanism, José Manuel Salazar-Xirinachs said that this is one of the bases of new quality, effective and sustainable public policies.

The document was prepared by a group of ECLAC experts, who pointed out the importance of integrating social objectives with those of increasing production and the labor market, to generate greater well-being among the population.

During the event, on the opening day of the Fifth Regional Conference on Social Development, Salazar-Xirinachs recounted the situation in most of the countries in the area, which is worse compared to the so-called lost decade of the 1980s of last century.

With a Gross Domestic Product of just 0.8 percent, which is not the result of the current crises, but of a much longer period, it is necessary to take the actions to cure this disease, the official said.

He recalled how this situation also impacts the labor sector, where the growth of new jobs is barely 1.3 percentage points, clearly insufficient to guarantee the minimum necessary among the population.

“Low economic dynamism implies low labor market,” said Salazar-Xirinachs, adding that in Latin America and the Caribbean almost 48 percent of workers are informal and among women this indicator reaches 79 points.

As a consequence, 32.3 percent of the population is in poverty and 13.1 in extreme poverty, figures that could worsen when the data is updated at the end of the year.

Furthermore, he noted, there are a large number of vulnerable households in the middle strata of society, where an economic shock, or even a personal event, could cause them to fall below the poverty line.

For less favored families, public transfers are more important than salaries and pensions, which are usually minimal, and that, he explained, increases the responsibility of state social protection policies.

The report consists of four chapters with an analysis of the advances of social institutions in the region; a comparative study between Latin America and the Caribbean with the European Union, and the role of governance and transparency.

It ends with a series of indications to achieve solid, active and verifiable policies and enables the achievement of the social objectives of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


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