LATIN AMERICA / THE CARIBBEAN
Inequality heightened by environmental damage
Despite strong economic growth, Latin America is still home to the world’s most unequal distribution of wealth.
Environmental degradation exacerbates the unequal distribution of wealth, the United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report 2011 said.
Individuals with less resources are harder hit by environmental damage and degradation, said the report, “The Human Development Report 2011: Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All,” which was published Nov. 2.
In the ranking of 187 countries, which was based on access to health, education and income levels, among other factors, Peru ranked 80th.
“The Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index helps us assess better the levels of development for all segments of society, rather than for just the mythical ‘average’ person,” said Milorad Kovacevic, chief statistician for the Human Development Report. “We consider health and education distribution to be just as important in this equation as income, and the data show great inequities in many countries.”
Rebecca Arias, the UNDP’s representative in Peru, said that the group most affected by environmental issues last year was women, working in small-scale farming and water collection, as well as the indigenous populations because they are more reliant on natural resources than other groups and these resources have been degraded by climate change and extreme weather.
Finally, she said that children also are suffering, because the shortage of food by climatic shocks generates malnutrition and, added to that, their need to work affects their level of schooling, limiting their future opportunities. —Latinamerica Press.
LATIN AMERICA/ CARIBBEAN
Human Development Index 2011*
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*Measures an average of health, education and income.
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