Failure to Break Cycles Of Poverty

A U.N. Development Program report on Latin America and the Caribbean finds that despite economic growth during much of the past decade, distribution of per capita income in Latin America is nearly as inequitable now as it was 20 years ago. In fact, Latin America is the most unequal distributor of income in the world, with an inequality index 18 percent higher than that of sub-Saharan Africa. Only 9.3 percent of Panama’s nonindigenous population is poor, but more than half of indigenous Panamanians and those of African descent live in poverty. Such disparities are similarly high in countries like Mexico, Bolivia, Guatemala, Paraguay, Brazil and Peru. Even more insidiously, poverty passes from generation to generation in the same households partly because a lack of education limits future employment opportunities. If countries really want to break the cycle of poverty, experts say, they must change their policies to address these internal inequalities.

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

The new cardinals named by Pope Francis come from El Salvador, Laos, Mali, Spain and Sweden.
Gerard O'ConnellMay 21, 2017
Illinois is one of about 35 states that have “revenge laws” that prohibit anyone from publicly disseminating intimate or embarrassing content about others without their consent.
Judith ValenteMay 19, 2017
U.S. President Donald Trump and Pope Francis are seen in this composite photo. The two leaders are scheduled to meet at the Vatican May 24 (CNS photos/Reuters and Paul Haring).
The pope and the president have something of a history, but do not expect fireworks.
When you replace “God” with “Dog” in a lot of Bible verses, they became startlingly apt commentary.
Emily KahmMay 19, 2017