Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2006-2007

More than a third of children and teenagers in Latin America lack access to safe drinking water in their homes, a UN report says. Only about one-in-four adults have the same problem, the report adds. It says the disparity between children and adults is even greater in terms of lack of access to sanitation. The report, co-written by the UN’s Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) and the children’s fund, UNICEF, says the problem is a threat to nearly 21 million children under five in the region. The worst affected groups are black and indigenous children, particularly in Nicaragua, Honduras and Bolivia, it says. The authors of the study call for improvements in water privatization programs, to include greater community involvement. In 2006, economic growth in Latin America and the Caribbean fostered job creation, and, as noted in ECLAC’s recently-released Economic Survey of Latin America and the Caribbean 2006-2007, the number of employed persons in urban areas has risen by nearly 6 million. This indicates that the recovery of employment that begun in 2003 has continued, as demonstrated by the fact that 15 out of 19 countries for which information is available reported higher employment rates. The number of job holders increased by approximately 2.9 percent, but the increase was uneven across different categories of employment. In particular, ECLAC notes the marked upturn in wage employment, which increased by 4.1 percent, thus maintaining the dynamism of the past two years, and accounted for 89 percent of new job creation in 2006.

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