In Latin America and the Caribbean, average social spending by central governments is around 11% of GDP (ECLAC, 2019), nevertheless, average public investment for children and adolescents is around 5% of GDP. UNICEF works to advocate for sufficient budgetary allocations for children not only because of the overrepresentation of this group within poverty indicators, but also because the evidence has shown that investments in childhood have the highest returns, and that they produce medium- and long-term equality and productivity benefits. For this, an adequate quantification and monitoring of the financial efforts of the States of the region in relation to their children and young people is a necessary condition.
In the context of a changing regional economic situation, of budgets with narrow space for maneuver, and an environmental and social context that constantly tests the resilience of the countries of the region; the strengthening of technical capacity, the generation of evidence on the interventions that actually work, the institutional management innovation and the promotion of exchange of experiences play an essential role. UNICEF contributes with technical assistance, knowledge management and horizontal cooperation to improve public finances management, both nationally and sub nationally, seeking to close gaps for excluded populations, and seeking adequate and sufficient allocations even in emergency situations.
Finally, given the progress of General Observation 19 to Article 4 of the Child Rights Convention, we support the States of the region to comply with the principles of efficiency, equity, effectiveness, transparency and sustainability of public spending that benefits childhood and adolescence.