This seemingly bland, bureaucratic report is in fact a valuable public document. We are informed that the Western Hemisphere's array of multilateral institutions are deeply engaged in implementing the UN's Millennium Development Goals, with their measurable targets, quantitative indicators, and hard deadlines for sharply reducing poverty. The Inter-American Development Bank is struggling to overcome its historic internal fragmentation to focus attention on promoting and monitoring the goals and urging member nations to reorganize their governments to do the same. The study finds that Latin America is making some progress in fighting hunger and promoting health care, gender equality, and primary-school enrollment, but notes frankly that the quality of education is well below world averages and that the numbers of urban-slum-dwellers and unemployed youth continue to rise at alarming rates. One striking finding: a ten percent reduction in inequality would cut in half the rate of economic growth necessary to slash extreme poverty by 50 percent by 2015.
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