Exchanging Experiences, Expanding Opportunities

Working to End Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean

File Created On:
September, 2015

The LAC region achieved laudable gains in the 2000's in the fight against poverty. This was a decade of
solid economic growth; substantial reduction in poverty and income inequality; and progress toward
being a middle-class society. But in recent years, the momentum has waned. Both extreme poverty,
defined in the region as life on less than $2.50 a day, and total poverty ($4 a day) decreased at a slower pace than in previous years, while extreme poverty as measured by the global benchmark of $1.25 remained fairly constant. Income growth—in particular at the bottom 40 percent of the region’s income distribution—has slowed, while income inequality reduction has stagnated in recent years. Even when overall the decade’s gains were significant, one in five Latin Americans has not benefited and has stayed in poverty over the last ten years. Taken in sum, these trends signal a need for policy action to keep to a course toward better lives for millions of people in the region and achievement of the goals of eradicating extreme poverty and bolstering shared prosperity.

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