Latin America Not on Track for MDG on Poverty

IPS reports on how "we" are doing on the Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). We meaning Latin America.

Doing well on most is the word but failing on the most important one--percentage of the population living on less than $1/day.

The percentage of people living on a dollar a day or less in Latin America fell only slightly, from 10.3 to 8.7 percent from 1990 to 2004 -- not a big enough drop to put the region on track to meeting the MDG poverty target by 2015.

This article includes more than just the UN report. Additional information was reported directly to IPS. Worth a read. Specific to Nicargua is the following:

In Nicaragua, the latest report following up on the MDGs, presented in January by the local U.N. office, stated that as of 2006, 14.9 percent of the population was living in extreme poverty, 4.5 percent down from 1990.

Still, the current rate is a far cry from the 9.7 percent target to be reached by 2015.

Furthermore, these official figures contrast sharply with the results of a study by sociologist Óscar Vargas, who said that despite the various poverty reduction programmes applied in Nicaragua over the past 16 years, the number of poor has actually grown.

"Between 1990 and 2006, more than two million people joined the ranks of the poor. More than 4.2 million people -- 82 percent of the population -- live below the poverty line, and 2.1 million barely survive in extreme poverty," said Vargas.

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managua, jinotega, campo

Tuesday: 40 MPH, brand new car, leaving metrocentro, passing the homeless in their plastic bag houses, smooth roads, passing the Crowne Plaza, being passed by big SUVs and broken down overcrowded buses. Sometimes electric, many generators. Several Palis, Reunions, La Colonias, a PriceSmart.

Monday: Jinotega, dust everywhere there isn't mud, holes in the street, 2nd gear 6 MPH, decent toilets, running water, big SUVs and broken down overcrowded buses going by, almost everyone on foot, a few horses. Usually electric but fewer generators. One Pali.

Saturday: Met a group digging latrines and laying water pipes out in the campo. They get there in a 4 wheel drive large truck with high ground clearance on dirt 'roads' then walk the last 4 miles because its impassable. No streets, gasoline, SUVs, buses, running water, toilets, showers, electric, cableTV. No Tropigaz or Pali. (disclaimer: second hand information)

From Managua, even looking at the people in plastic bag houses, it's impossible to visualize campo life. From a SJDS pool party, it must be something on the Discovery Channel.

But even so, over 80% under the poverty line. Astounding.

Tony X Robins, Jinotega