Argentina is one of the largest economies in South America. In recent years, the government has focused in promoting economic development along with social inclusion with the support of the World Bank.
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On World Water Day we invite you to discover the most important challenges that a region like Latin America faces, through cartoons drawn for the World Bank Group by artists from around the world.&nbs... Show More +p;1. For water services to work properly is essential to undertake regular maintenance just like you would with a computer or a car.The amount of water lost before reaching households – due, for example, to broken pipes - is estimated to be around 15% in developed countries, while in developing countries it can reach up to 50%.Learn more: Improvements in Water and Sewage Systems to Reach More than 200 Thousand Residents in Northern Lima 2. Due to global warming, glaciers, one of the most important sources of fresh water, are melting.In widely covered of glaciers, like the White Range in Peru or the Real Range in Bolivia, the total area has shrunk by about a third compared to the surface area during the Little Ice Age.Learn more: With Data and Technology, Ecuador is Seeking Solutions to Glacier Retreat 3. Lack of water causes more deaths than earthquakes and hurricanes combined.Since late 2013, the largest city in South America, Sao Paulo -a city of 11 million inhabitants - has suffered the most severe drought in 80 years.Learn more: A shower: an unattainable dream for 36 million Latin Americans 4. Sources of water contaminated with fecal matterIn Latin America, three quarters of the region’s wastewater is discharged into rivers and other water sources. This not only creates a severe public health problem, but also damages - sometimes irreparably - the environment.Learn more: Significant advances in the recovery of the Matanza-Riachuelo River Basin 5. World Water Day is also a tribute to womenIn communities like Rio Grande in Brazil, access to water allows women to devote more time to their farms and themselves, leading to an increased family income of up to 30%.Learn more: In northeastern Brazil, investments in water ease the burden on women Show Less -
Potential actionsAlthough the winds are favorable with respect to women’s labor market participation in Latin America, more actions should be taken to reduce the wage gap and favor women’s school... Show More +-work transition:Improvements in transport, increased access to childcare and flexible work schedules can contribute to increasing women’s available time. In Argentina, free public childcare services increased women’s labor market participation by 7% in 2011.Increase access to assets, land and credit. For example, by increasing access to formal credit markets (beyond microcredit) and to financial training. Support vulnerable families. Especially poor households headed by single women.Promote women’s empowerment through training programs and support to the labor-market transition and the creation of women’s employment networks.Additionally, the specialist believes it is crucial to work with the private sector to reduce the wage and employment gap given that this sector employs nearly 90% of workers around the world. Show Less -
ChallengeBy 2010, notwithstanding San Juan’s strong economic growth and solid fiscal performance, key provincial human development indicators lagged behind the national average. Despite the fact that ... Show More +public health expenditures amounted to about 30 percent of total provincial social expenditure, maternal and infant mortality were above the national average and non-communicable diseases were a growing problem. The infant mortality rate (IMR) in 2008 was about 14 deaths per 1,000 live births, higher than the national average (13.3 deaths per 1,000 live births). At seven deaths per 100,000 live births, San Juan’s maternal mortality rate (MMR) was almost double the national average. Cardiovascular and respiratory diseases and tumors were the leading causes of adult death in the province, representing about 64 percent of total deaths, followed by external causes and diabetes representing 16 percent of total deaths of the province.The provinces most important challenges in the Education sector were the high levels of school failure in the first few years of primary education and unequal access to and permanence in schools for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. These weaknesses were evident particularly in primary school where the repetition rates during the first six years exceeds the national mean, and the 2.7 percent desertion rate is well above the national averageSolutionSan Juan Province addressed these human development challenges with the support of the World Bank-financed San Juan Social Inclusion and Development Project-SWAP (Sector-wide Approach). The SWAP financed specific programs in those sectors. The Health Sector component of US$28 million complemented two earlier projects by supporting the Ministry of Health in the areas of mother, youth and child health, and non-communicable diseases. The earlier Bank-financed projects were Plan Nacer, which aims to improve access and coverage in maternal and infant population, and the Essential Public Health Functions, which attempts to achieve universal coverage for prioritized health public programs. The Education Sector component of US$19 million supported two concurrent and ongoing programs: Todos Pueden Aprender (“All Can Learn”) and the Jornada Completa (“Full Day”). The component focused on the key challenges of school failure, unequal access, and permanence.ResultsOverall, San Juan Province improved key mother and child health indicators, even surpassing the national average. By the end of the project, permanent safe blood provision in maternities reached 100 percent, and the percentage of pregnant women attending the minimum required number of consultations before birth doubled. Also, the percentage of children with complete immunization in their first year of life was nearly 96 percent by the end of 2013. One of the most remarkable achievements was the registration into a database, created by the Ministry of Health, of the population without health insurance coverage. This valuable database will help the ministry’s budget process and the design and development of health policy in the province.Communal health workers identified persons with diabetes and ensured that they received proper medical treatment, although the percentage of detected diabetic patients under regular care fell short of the target.In the “All Can Learn” and “Full Day” programs, education authorities emphasized the training of teachers. The result was a substantial increase in the promotion rate of students in the first school cycle, and a marked improvement in the percentage of students who achieved passing grades in both language and math. The number of Full Day schools reached 42 by December 2011, which was 10 more than the target. By the end of 2013, the number had grown to 51 and 11 more were planned for 2014.Bank Group ContributionThe SWAP provided a total financing of US$48.65 million, of which US$28 million was destined to the Health component and U$19 million destined to the Education component. The remaining US$1.65 million was utilized to fund technical assistance activities that supported the implementation of the main components.PartnersThe San Juan Investment Promotion Agency (ASJDI) coordinated teams of the Ministries of Health, Education and Finance, and was the main point of contact with Bank. The agency followed progress in the achievement of objectives, producing semi-annual reports and a mid-term report which facilitated Bank supervision of the project. The teams from both ministries mentioned that the contribution received from the Bank’s specialists was extremely useful.Moving ForwardThe programs that were financed are now included in the budgetary process of San Juan Province. This guarantees their funding and continuity. Public officials internalized the institutional and procedural reforms adopted during implementation and will likely continue applying them. Although there is currently no discussion about a follow-up operation the provincial authorities have expressed interest in a second loan of the same type. Beneficiaries The primary project beneficiaries are the users of public health and education services in San Juan Province. Many of these beneficiaries are among the poorest in the province. The institutions benefiting from the project include the provincial Ministries of Health and Education, the Ministry of Finance, and the San Juan Investment Promotion Agency, which is linked to the Ministry of Economic Development and Production, and had the responsibility for the overall management of the project. Show Less -
ChallengeAs Argentina recovered from the economic crisis of 2001-2002 and the structure of the economy changed, effective macroeconomic management helped to establish four years of pro-poor growth. As... Show More + the currency depreciated, manufacturing and the tradable sectors increased exports and absorbed more labor and unskilled workers. As a result, unemployment dropped significantly. In order to sustain this growth over the medium-term, however, Argentina needed to improve the investment climate and raise productivity levels and the quality of exports. The government identified education and training as major priorities in achieving its goals of poverty reduction and job creation. Secondary education was becoming a minimum requirement for access to good jobs. Thus, Argentina needed to invest in the less skilled through additional education and training for school leavers who had not completed secondary education. SolutionThe objectives of the World Bank-funded Lifelong Learning and Training Project were to promote employment and reduce poverty by improving training and education opportunities. The project was the first of its type to use a results-based approach in Argentina. It proposed measures to increase the linkages between the education system and the labor market and improve the vocational education and training system. Through such comprehensive activities as general training, adult education, and internships, the project also promoted the idea of a system of lifelong-learning. The project also supported the creation or support of entities that provide employment and educational services, such as professional training institutes, adult education services of provincial Ministries of Education, and municipal employment offices. The decision to deliver the services in a decentralized approach, through the (strengthened) municipal employment offices, was crucial for the project’s success and showed that the rates of return to lifelong learning are substantial at the secondary school level for both youths and adults.ResultsThe project supported the government’s efforts to enhance employability for disadvantaged adults 18 years or older and strengthen a lifelong learning and competency-based training system. Between 2008 and 2013, these objectives were translated into the following outcomes:Since 2011, the Ministry of Labor has passed legal resolutions to institutionalize the Lifelong Learning System.53.8 percent adults with competences certified obtained registered employment or higher salary (40,580 adults).48.7 percent of adults receiving basic education certificates continued training or education, obtained registered employment or higher salary (45,910 adults).56 percent of youth participating in internships are formal employed (12,114 youth).314 competency-based occupational standards registered by sector groups.442 training institutions strengthened and 150 with a quality certification.388,078 workers participated in competency-based training courses.Bank Group ContributionThe World Bank provided financing of US$200 million starting in 2007. Total cost, including the contribution from the client was US$678 million in five years. Bank supports’ included specialized consultancy services, promotional materials, and operating costs to support the work of the technical units; training of participants and sector experts by the Ministry of labor in the competency-based approach and the equipment and supplies needed by the different organizations to carry out their functions. PartnersThe Ministry of Labor was the implementing agency for the Lifelong Learning and Training Project. The municipal employment offices network was key in the context of Promotion of Youth Employment. Internships and Training were provided in collaboration with the Sector Council integrated by Unions and Firms. Agreements with provincial ministries of education were signed for the adults’ education activities.Moving ForwardThe Ministry of Labor’s budget for 2014 includes the activities previously financed by the project. The Ministry will continue to provide promotion of youth employment activities (orientation/soft skills courses and professional training), supported by an upcoming World Bank-financed project. The gains achieved through improvements in the integration and use of data bases will continue to be felt.BeneficiariesThe primary target group was disadvantaged adults 18 years or older. The Ministry of Labor and the entities providing employment and educational services also benefited from the capacity-building activities to install a lifelong learning and training system linked to employment. Show Less -
New analysis highlights need for better coordination and a focus on behavioral barriers alongside effective social and economic policies.LIMA, Peru, March 9, 2015 – One out of every five Latin America... Show More +ns or around 130 million people have never known anything but poverty, subsisting on less than US$4-a-day throughout their lives. These are the region´s chronically poor, who have remained so despite unprecedented inroads against poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean since the turn of the century.Their situation is becoming more precarious as the economic boom that significantly contributed to reduce poverty dwindles. Regional GDP growth has slowed, from about six percent in 2010 to an estimated 0.8 percent in 2014. This contraction will likely take away one of the biggest drivers behind the strong reduction in poverty: an improved job market.A new World Bank report, Left Behind, Chronic Poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean, takes a closer look at the region’s entrenched poor, who and where they are, and how policies and thinking will need to change in order to more effectively assist them.“Poverty exists and persists due to constraints within and without the households, everything from lack of appropriate skills and motivation to the lack of basic services such as clean water,” said Jorge Familiar, World Bank Vice President for Latin America and the Caribbean. “In other words, supporting individuals is necessary but not sufficient. An enabling context that provides appropriate services is also crucial. Therefore, social policies and regional development need to go hand in hand.”But who are the chronic poor? The answer to that question traditionally has been hard to come by due to the lack of data tracking the poor over time. The World Bank report, however, applies a new methodology to shed light on those who have remained poor in Latin America.Among the report’s key findings:· There are significant variations among countries. Uruguay, Argentina and Chile have the lowest rates of chronic poverty, with rates around 10 percent. On the other extreme, Nicaragua, Honduras, and Guatemala have rates of chronic poverty significantly higher than the regional average of 21 percent, ranging from 37 percent in Nicaragua to 50 percent in Guatemala.· There are significant variations within countries. Within a single country, some regions show incidence rates up to eight times higher than the lowest. In Brazil, for instance, Santa Catarina has a chronic poverty rate of about five percent, while Ceará is nearly 40 percent.· The issue is rural and urban. Despite the much higher percentage rates of chronic poverty in rural areas, such poverty is as much an urban as a rural issue. In fact, considering absolute numbers, urban areas in many countries, including Chile, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and the Dominican Republic, had more chronic poor between 2004 and 2012 than rural areas.“In addition to focusing on access to basic services and good jobs, policies must also take into account the very real social and aspirational barriers facing the chronically poor in Latin America,” said Ana Revenga, Senior Director for Poverty at the World Bank Group. “If this remains unaddressed, it will be far too easy for the most vulnerable to fall through the cracks of social safety nets, no matter how well-targeted these programs are.”In Peru, for instance, patients with tuberculosis, who live largely in Lima’s slums, were 43 percent more likely to abandon treatment before being cured if they were depressed at the time of diagnosis.To better assist these patients, a program that provides free treatment also offered clinical psychologists to help treat depression and special support to help identify income-generating opportunities for patients. Other social intermediation programs, such as Chile Solidario, or Red Unidos in Colombia, employ social workers to actively match beneficiaries with social programs that address family-specific needs.Moving forward, policymakers in Latin America would be justified to rethink the approach of poverty reduction programs, using this new analysis to better understand who the chronically poor are and where they reside. It will be crucial to improve coordination between different social and economic programs, and to tackle the mental and emotional toll that poverty takes on the poor and their ability to improve their lives. Only then will it be possible to forge a clearer path out of poverty for the 130 million chronically poor in Latin America. Show Less -