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LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
UNDP: Some advances, but inequality continues
11/19/2010
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New UN index finds persistent gaps between countries and genders.

Latin America and the Caribbean nations are drastically improving health care, education and income distribution, but inequality continues to plague the region, according to the United Nations Development Program´s 2010 Human Development Report.

The new study, entitled, “The Real Wealth of Nations: Pathways to Human Development,” released on Nov. 4, found  out of the 32 Latin American and Caribbean nations, only Haiti fell into the “low human development category,” while other nations registered high- and medium-level human development.

Jeni Klugman, the report´s main author, said Latin American and Caribbean nations are quickly catching up to Europe and the United States for basic services, thanks to focused social programs. But she added that inequality continues to be the major hindrance to better development for the region.

This year´s report included new indices that measure gender equality, multidimensional poverty and a human development index that takes inequality into account.

Scores for Haiti, Bolivia, Guatemala, Peru and Panama were greatly lower than they could have been because of constant inequality there.

The Human Development Index for the region totaled 0.704, with 1 being the highest development, while when inequality is taken into account, its score was 0.527.

Cuba was not included in this year´s study because of a lack of information on incomes, though the report notes the country´s high level of health care and education.
—Latinamerica Press.

LATIN AMERICA/CARIBBEAN
Human Development Index 2010*

Country
Rank
Score** 
Barbados
42
0.788
Bahamas
43
0.784
Chile
45
0.783
Argentina
46
0.775
Uruguay
52
0.765
Panama
54
0.755
Mexico
56
0.750
Costa Rica
62
0.725
Peru
63
0.723
Brazil
73
0.699
Venezuela
75
0.696
Ecuador
77
0.695
Belize
78
0.694
Colombia
79
0.689
Jamaica
80
0.688
Dominican Rep.
88
0.663
El Salvador
90
0.659
Suriname
94
0.646
Bolivia
95
0.643
Paraguay
96
0.640
Guyana
104
0.611
Honduras
106
0.604
Nicaragua
115
0.565
Guatemala
116
0.560
Haiti
145
0.404

* Measures basic human development indicators: a long and healthy life, knowledge and a decent standard of living.
** 1 - 0, with 1 representing the highest human development.
Source: United Nations Development Program.


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