Hopeful look of a sad-eyed girl
Goal 1: End poverty in all its forms everywhere


Extreme poverty rates have been cut by more than half since 1990. While this is a remarkable achievement, one in five people in developing regions still live on less than US$ 1.25 a day. Moreover, many people are at risk of slipping back into poverty.


Poverty is more than the lack of income and resources, and indicates the need to ensure a sustainable livelihood in order to access opportunities and participate fully in society.


Its manifestations include hunger and malnutrition, limited access to education and other basic services, social discrimination and exclusion as well as the lack of participation in decision-making. Economic growth must be inclusive to provide sustainable jobs, promote equality and eliminate poverty, including extreme poverty.


Recommendations from Latin America and the Caribbean to achieve SDG 1 and its targets

      • To eradicate poverty, reduce inequality and ensure that no one is left behind, SDG 1 should be linked to SDG 10 (reduced inequalities) through redistributive policies, including the consolidation of universal and integrated social protection systems, policies to promote decent work (SDG 8) and to strengthen labour institutions, and sustained and sustainable economic growth.

      • In developing and designing public policies that incorporate the principles of the integral nature of the 2030 Agenda and of leaving no one behind, the needs and demands of all stakeholders involved in the design and implementation of those policies, including beneficiaries, must be taken into account.

      • Public poverty eradication policies must be redesigned to address women living in poor households and who, owing to various barriers, are unable to escape this situation and remain outside the reach of social policies and programmes, which fail to incorporate the gender perspective.
      • Resilience (understood as the ability of a community to resist, absorb, adapt to and recover from various adverse effects) should be incorporated into social protection systems, in order to address the effects of climate change and natural and human-made disasters on human security and poverty.

      • Public policies in the complementary areas of labour inclusion and social inclusion are fundamental to ending poverty in all its forms in Latin America and the Caribbean.

      • To ensure its legitimacy, a multidimensional poverty index must involve a democratic and participatory process engaging the different stakeholders, including academic institutions, the public and civil society.

Key messages from the region on the issues addressed by SDG 1 and its targets

      • The incidence of poverty and extreme poverty in Latin America and the Caribbean is highest among the most vulnerable people, particularly children, adolescents and young people, women, people living in rural areas, indigenous peoples and Afrodescendent populations.

      • Socioeconomic inequality and the persistence of poverty in the framework of exclusionary growth have been identified as structural obstacles to gender equality in the region.
      • All analyses of poverty and exclusion, regardless of the indicator used, show that indigenous peoples are in a disadvantaged position. The Afrodescendent population (roughly 150 million people in the region) face a relatively similar situation, albeit to a lesser extent. The situation of this population is not reflected in all indicators, partly because it is concentrated mainly in urban areas, unlike the indigenous population. An intercultural approach that promotes the recognition of these populations, coexistence and inclusion must be at the heart of how these challenges are addressed

      • Extreme poverty is concentrated in the rural population, which is overwhelmingly affected by this phenomenon, a situation that is increasingly exacerbated by the effects of disasters and climate change.

    End poverty in all its forms, for all people in Latin America and the Caribbean

    End poverty in all its forms, for all people in Latin America and the Caribbean

    The analysis of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) presented here is the outcome of the discussions held within the framework of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and Caribbean on Sustainable Development, convened under the auspices of the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC).

Challenges and opportunities for the implementation, follow-up and review of SDG 1 and its targets

    • Opportunities

      • Labour policies and labour market institutions as well as the expansion and strengthening of social protection policies and systems have been central to reducing poverty and income inequality, leading to a decline in unemployment, increased formalization of employment, better labour income and a higher minimum wage in many countries, although working conditions in the region have deteriorated in recent years.

      • Pension systems play a fundamental role in promoting full enjoyment of the right to social security and protection amid rapid population ageing in the region.


      • There is a risk that this progress may be reversed in the current economic climate, marked by weak growth, labour market deterioration and tighter fiscal space in many countries.

      • Various emerging factors, such as the demographic transition, changes in the world of work, more frequent disasters and climate change, will pose new challenges and increase the urgent need for social policies to achieve this SDG.

Lessons learned and good practices with respect to SDG 1 and its targets

      • In Honduras, mobile technology is used to pinpoint the location of four million users, georeference their needs and direct them towards dozens of government programmes —a qualitative leap forward in the country’s capacity to reduce multidimensional poverty. Technology has also made possible the detailed mapping of chronic malnutrition in children and is helping to design more effective public policies to leave no one behind.

      • The use of measures of multidimensional poverty has spread gradually across the world, and Latin America is no exception. Countries such as Mexico and Colombia have pioneered national multidimensional poverty indices.

      • In Mexico, the official methodology to measure multidimensional poverty includes two fundamental areas, economic well-being and social rights, and takes into account income and deficiencies in terms of food, education, housing, health, basic services and security, among other things. In addition, some of the indicators related to social rights are linked to the environment.
      • Chile complements income measurement with a multidimensional approach. Data from a survey on the “voices of poverty” and from the National Socioeconomic Survey (CASEN) were used to select key dimensions of well-being from a total of five dimensions: education, health, labour and social security, housing and the environment, and networks and social cohesion.

      • In the Dominican Republic, an innovative approach was used to link poverty and the environment through social indicators. The Sombrilla national programme, whose goal was to reduce the particular vulnerability of poor rural households to extreme climate events, focused on integrating climate change adaptation policies with social protection strategies.

      • Fundación América Solidaria, with the support of ECLAC and the Americas and Caribbean Regional Office of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), launched the Concausa initiative to provide and disseminate information about projects led by young people of the region aged 14–17 that aim to achieve the SDGs, including SDG 1.


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