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Latin America
Overview
Latin America comprises 33 countries in the North American continent, except for the United States and Canada. The region also includes Central America and the Caribbean Region. The region covers a total area of 20.55 million km2 or 15% of the world’s total land mass. As of 2007, Latin America is home to some 569 million people, or 8.6% of the world’s total population of 6.625 billion people.

The human development index indicates that the average per capita GNI in the region stands at USD 4,767. The annual population growth rate is 1.5%, and the average life expectancy is 73 years, while 24 out of 1,000 children die before reaching the age of five.

Efforts to improve the establishment of democratization and market economy policies in Latin America have taken place since 1990. Many Latin American countries have abundant natural and human resources, and the people have a comparatively higher average income than those of other developing regions. This is partly due to the fact that the region is one of the top five regions in the world possessing oil and natural gas. In addition, this status is being maintained due to Mercosur, which is a Regional Trade Agreement among South American countries, the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), the Central American Integration System (SICA), etc. However, several factors such as low efficiency and transparency of governments due to corruption, social instability such as drugs and crime, accumulating foreign debt, etc. are becoming obstacles to development. Income disparity remains high with 20% of the population living in poverty. Poverty and inequality continue to be key challenges in the region. Those living in poverty had a national income share of 2.9% in 1990 and 2.7% in 2004.

As for the MDG targets, the region has a high probability of success in reaching universal primary education, and equal education opportunities offered to both genders. On the other hand, countries in Latin America are lagging behind in progress toward meeting targets in the areas of poverty reduction, the reduction of infant mortality rates and maternal mortality rates, HIV/AIDS prevention, and sustainable development. In particular, according to the World Bank, 160 million people (or 20.6% of the Latin American population) live on less than two dollars a day as of March 2007. Of these people, 50 million live in extreme poverty conditions of less than one dollar a day. The percentage of people living in absolute poverty has gradually decreased from 11.3% of the total population in 1990 to 8.9% in 2002. However, a lot of effort is needed to decrease the rate from 10.3% in 2005 to the goal of 5.6% by 2015. KOICA’s goal of providing assistance to Latin America is to increase the quality of life through reducing absolute poverty and social inequality. To this end, assistance is being provided with a focus on alleviating social inequality through growth centered on the people living in poverty, improving the capacity of public administration and transparency, improving poverty reduction and self-sustaining abilities through the promotion of economic growth, and sustainable development in consideration of the environment
ToTal Aid Flows to Latin America(1999-2008)
Performance in 2008

With USD 32 million accounting for 11.6% of the total budget, KOICA supported 26 countries in Latin America, which is a decrease of 10.1% from the USD 35.6 million in 2007. The top five Latin American partner countries received 8.7% of KOICA’s total project budget, or 75.2% of the budget earmarked for Latin America. By sector, ICT and health accounted for 27.3% and 26.5%, respectively, followed by governance and education
Top 5 Latin American Partner Counrtries

Rank

Country

Amount

Percentage(%)

Of KOICA’s total
budget

Of KOICA's budget for the region

1

Peru

6.7

2.4

23.5

2

Paraguay

4.088

1.5

14.4

3

Guatemala

3.926

1.4

13.8

4

El Salvador

3.847

1.4

13.5

5

Ecuador

3.485

1.2

12.2

Total

22.049

7.9

77.4

 
Assistance by Sectoral Priority in Latin America (USD in Million)

Sectoral Priority

Amount

Percentage(%)

Education

4.483

8.7

Health

11.59

40.7

Governance

2.334

8.2

Rural Development

2.539

8.9

Information& Communication Technology

4.696

16.5

Industry& Energy

1.738

6.1

Environment& Gender

2.469

8.7

Disaster Relief

0.648

2.3

Total

28.497

100

 
Sector Share of ODA Latin America