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Country Profiles photograph

Latin America & Caribbean

Although the Caribbean, Central and South America are relatively advanced regions, they still face persistent poverty. This was reduced in the 1990s, but achieving all the Millennium Development Goals will be a challenge, particularly those relating to the number of people living on less than $1 a day, maternal mortality in Latin America, and gender equality and HIV and AIDS in the Caribbean.

DFID is developing Regional Assistance Plans for each region to set out its response to these challenges. In all cases increased priority will be given to making the international community as a whole more effective regionally.

We are already making a difference to the effectiveness of multilateral donors in Latin America and the Caribbean. In December 2003 we hosted a meeting of the main donors in Honduras to help establish a donor network to share experience on supporting Poverty Reduction Strategies.

We assisted the British Ambassador as President of the donor group, which helped to make it more effective in its relations with the Honduran Government and the International Monetary Fund.

We have provided relief under the Commonwealth Debt Initiative for bilateral debts owed by Jamaica and Belize. These resources have helped both countries, which are experiencing a shortage of public funds for basic expenditure.

In Jamaica we are working with other Whitehall Departments to support the Jamaican Government in tackling serious crime and violence. This entails reforming the police and addressing social and economic exclusion – a key underlying cause of the insecurity.

In 2002/03 DFID supported the Government of Nicaragua in the development of a strategy for violence prevention and reduction. A key feature is the Education for Life Programme implemented in 217 schools in Managua.

This includes an innovative curriculum, which trains students to resist the use of drugs and provides sex education and HIV and AIDS prevention information. During 2003, the Programme assisted 3,843 students, reducing school drop-outs and increasing social inclusion.

In October 2003, a new law supporting domestic political parties in Peru was introduced with a focus on tackling party finance and making parties more transparent and inclusive. This law was established through DFID support to Transparencia, a Peruvian non-governmental organisation, and Idea, an inter-governmental organisation based in Sweden.

Funding and advice on comparable experiences from other countries helped political parties both inside and outside Congress to reach consensus.

Last updated: 12 June 2007

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