Poverty in Latin America
These areas include Mexico, most of Central and South America, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Brazil. Latin America can be subdivided into different regions, such as North America, South America, Central America and the Caribbean. (Wikipedia, Retrieved 2010). Latin America consists of many different ethnic backgrounds and races. It is one of the most diverse regions in the world. Some of the predominant races/backgrounds include European-Amerindians (Mestizo), Amerindians, European, Mulatto, Black, Asian and Zambo (mixed Black and Amerindian).
Latin America continues to be challenged by inequality and poverty. Poverty is defined as, “the state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions. ” (Merriam-Webster, Retrieved 2010). According to the World Bank, nearly 25% of the population of Latin America lives on less than $2. 00 a day. At least 182 million people are living in poverty in Latin America and at least 68 million people are living in extreme poverty. Poverty is defined as living on less than $2. 5 per person per day and extreme poverty as living on less than $1. 08 per person per day. “The poverty rate in Latin America was halved from 60% in 1950 to less than 30% in 2000. However, during the same time period income inequality remained more or less the same, making both poverty reduction and economic growth more difficult; as in other countries with a wide income gap—even developed ones—the challenge is to increase the incomes of the lower economic groups at a faster rate than those of the wealthier groups.
In reality, economic growth rarely works this way. Latin American income inequality is drastic: the average annual per capita income is $4,000, but the region is home to many millionaires and billionaires. The fourth richest person in the world, Carlos Slim, whose worth was estimated at $23. 8 billion in 2005, is Mexican. ” (Poverty in the Developing World, Retrieved 2010). Articles state, however, that these numbers are deceiving in that rising above the official poverty rate by a few cents or even a dollar does not mean you are any better off.
People in this situation are still impoverished and are living in a way that they are unable to provide for themselves much less their family, if any. Certain areas in Latin America are worse than others. Bolivia has the highest poverty and inequality rate. Haiti is just behind Bolivia. Following Haiti are Colombia, Paraguay, Brazil, Panama, Nicaragua, Uruguay and Mexico. Many of these countries have responded to poverty by implementing new or modifying old social assistance programs. Social assistance programs are programs developed to assist the poor.
The main aspects of the current social assistance programs are (1) conditional cash transfer, which is where cash is transferred directly into the household based on certain conditions, such as children attending school and doctor visits; (2) the household; (3) targeting the poorest; and (4) being multidimensional in that they are able to assist many dimensions of poverty at once. The future of Latin America is vague and unknown. Latin America has consistently been impoverished but the percentage fluctuates. Many programs are available to the public in order to help Latin America and the people thereof.
I believe the people themselves and the entire dynamic of Latin America will need to change before the poverty levels change significantly. Donations and charities may help but they will only scratch the surface. The issues of Latin America are deep and need to be dug up and dealt with by the people of Latin America. In conclusion, we see that this is a current problem that is steadily being addressed and researched. Latin America needs help and resources in order to come out of poverty. They also must make changes within their own system so that the help can be well received and utilized to the fullest. ? References Latin America. (2010, June 7). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://en. wikipedia. org/w/index. php? title=Latin_America&oldid=366711869 Poverty. (2010). In Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www. merriam-webster. com/dictionary/poverty Poverty in the Developing World – Latin America and the Caribbean, (2010). Retrieved June 7, 2010, from http://www. libraryindex. com/pages/2676/Poverty-in-Developing-World-LATIN-AMERICA-CARIBBEAN. html