Report on Sustainable Human Development in Latin America Flatters Costa Rica

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    The Costa Rica News (TCRN) –A report on sustainable human development in Latin America revealed that 40 out of 100 people in Latin America are not only poor, but also lack formal employment, labor rights, and are excluded from all the systems and social policies of the states. Interestingly, Costa Rica outstands as the country with less poverty and violence rates, as well as the country with more investment on health and education in Latin America.

    As to other Latin American countries, the 2013 publication of Statistics for Latin America emphasizes that 40% of the population of the entire region does not reach the minimum income line, has no minimum wage, has little access to education, social security, and pensions. In other words, they are beyond the reach of the benefits of human development.

    The statistical report analyzes the main social, economic, political and environmental aspects of Latin American countries and organizes information about the most relevant trends of sustainable human development in the area.

    In order to prepare the report more than 150 national, international, and regional institutions were consulted, and, according to Diego Fernandez, head of the Regional State Statistics, this report constitutes an important information tool for decision making by all these nations.

    According to the study, in the last decade the population of Latin America increased from 35.93 million people in 2000 to 43.67 in 2011. This means that the region has 3 more million poor people, who everyday must face social exclusion.

    In regards to high levels of poverty, Honduras is the country with the highest rates, with a total of 61.9% of its population followed by El Salvador, Nicaragua and Panama.

    As to Costa Rica, its distribution of income remains intact, and statistics from Guatemala and Belize have shown an increasing trend towards inequality.

    In addition, only 20% of the population of Latin America has social security coverage. This means that 8 out of 10 people have to look for a way to cover their own needs in terms of health care services, at best.

    The countries of the Latin America invest very little in the health of its people. Actually, Costa Rica is the only country that invests an adequate percentage in public health and has experienced sustained growth, since it increased from 5% in 2000 to 8, 7% in 2011.

    In contrast, Nicaragua invests 3.7% in public health, Honduras 2.9%, El Salvador 2.1%, Panama 2.0% and Guatemala only 1.1%. These figures reveal that there are no social security policies nor do the states of Latin America show interest in ensuring a minimum investment in the public health area.

    Another problem of social exclusion has to do with high school dropout rates, which leads to unemployment and inequality of young people and women. Nicaragua has the highest school dropout rate with 19.2%, Panama 15.3%, Honduras 8.8%, Costa Rica 11.1%, El Salvador 5.8% and Guatemala 5.0%. All these people who enter informal jobs do not have vacation, bonuses, minimum wages nor pensions, which will result in more poverty in the future.

    Similarly, Latin American countries invest very little in education, except for Costa Rica, which allocates 7.1%. All other countries are below 6% of public spending in relation to the Gross Domestic Product. State figures suggest that Honduras invests 6% in education, Nicaragua 5.2%, Panama 3.8%, El Salvador 3.4%, and Guatemala 1.6%.

    Although these figures reveal that there is room for improvement on the part of the governments of all these countries, in general terms Costa Rica outstands as a peaceful and educated country. The years to come will hopefully show improvements in human development and sustainability in the rest of Latin America. SU

    The Costa Rica News (TCRN)
    San Jose Costa Rica

    Resonance Costa Rica
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