UNDP outlines five-year development strategy for Latin America

UNDP outlines five-year development strategy for Latin America

Cutting poverty and inequality, promoting democratic governance and coping with energy needs and climate change are key goals that the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will pursue through its current five-year regional strategy for Latin America and the Caribbean, according to a document released today at UN Headquarters in New York.

The Second UNDP Regional Cooperation Framework for Latin America and the Caribbean has been tailored to help improve the lot of some 244 million "income poor" people there. Key areas requiring attention include macroeconomic management, according to the report, which points out that "High levels of debt-servicing and a downturn of the global economy, lower foreign direct investment and shrinking markets for exports constitute major concerns in 2001."

While noting progress in the area of women's rights, UNDP says significant challenges remain, including domestic violence, trafficking in girls, lack of protection for women in conflict situations and women's unequal access to basic services.

In the area of information technology, the report notes that although Latin America and the Caribbean account for 8 per cent of world population, the region has only 3.5 per cent of all Internet users. "The mainstreaming of information and communication technologies (ICT) in development activities can play a meaningful role in the transformation to a more informed society and a competitive and service-oriented economy and can benefit the poor particularly," UNDP says.

According to the report, UNDP will allocate $16.9 million in core resources for the five-year strategy, with 35 per cent going to poverty reduction, 35 per cent to democratic governance, 25 per cent to energy and climate change, 2 per cent to advocacy for human development and 3 per cent to programme development and monitoring.