More than 200 million people in the PAHO Region live in poverty and are invisible to national averages. We need to identify their places, see their faces, hear their voices.
The global strategy for achieving the MDGs has centered largely around the measurement of national development averages and indicators. This initiative is unique in that it seeks to look beyond these averages, identify the most vulnerable municipalities, and involve communities in their own development processes.
Most countries in the PAHO Region are middle-income countries, and it is precisely within these that the majority of people living in poverty are found. Although much progress has been made over the last few years in reducing poverty and extreme poverty, prospective studies using the Gini coefficient suggest that unless something is done, in 2015, the PAHO Region will continue to be the most inequitable region in the world.
In 2004, an estimated 222 million people lived in poverty; by 2006, that figure had fallen to 205 million. Although in 2004, 96 million people were identified as living in extreme poverty, by 2006 the figure had dropped to 81 million.