UNICEF in Latin America and the Caribbean


Threats to Child Survival and Development

In Latin America and the Caribbean, UNICEF concentrates its programs and actions to counteract six significant threats:

 1. Disparities
– 60% of children under 12 years of age and 50% of adolescents between the ages of 13-19 live in poverty.

 2. Social exclusion
– affects young people living with HIV/AIDS, and those with disabilities, and dramatically affects indigenous and Afro-descendent communities. As one of the most culturally diverse regions in the world, there are 40-50 million indigenous and 150million Afro-descendants living here, close to half of which are under 18 years of age. Children in these communities have lower levels of nutrition and limited or non-existent access to basic services.

 3. Chronic malnutrition
– if severe malnutrition is equivalent to a death sentence, chronic malnutrition is equivalent to life imprisonment. The high prevalence of chronic malnutrition (one of every five children) affects children’s growth through a variety of ways, among them: low birth weight, stunting and frequent illness.

 4. Violence
- Nearly 85,000 children die annually as a result of violence in the home, violence affects over 6 million children and adolescents.

     5. HIV/AIDS
    - The Caribbean has the 2nd highest prevalence of AIDS in the world, after sub-Saharan Africa, and has an increasingly adolescent female face.

       6. Emergencies
      – are common and harsh, with natural disasters such as flooding and hurricanes occurring yearly. Invariably these days of havoc create years of distress.





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