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Experts urge action to reduce inequalities of black Latin American population

October 15, 2019

Latin American authorities and specialists urged Tuesday in Costa Rica for countries to adopt strategies to eliminate the inequalities that affect the region’s nearly 200 million Afro-descendants.

The issue was addressed in a four-day forum — inaugurated in San José with the presence of 100 representatives from 26 countries and international organizations — which seeks to promote policies for the black population to reach the so-called Millennium Development Goals, which strive to eliminate social, economic and environmental problems by 2030.

“The whole world set out to leave no one behind by 2030, but if we don’t do what is necessary to include those who are behind today, everything will be just a speech and we will arrive in 2030 to recount those who were left behind,” said Costa Rican Vice President Epsy Campbell, the first black woman in Latin America to hold that position.

World Bank data indicates that the black population of the region has a 2.5-times higher likelihood of living in poverty and has fewer options to access education compared to the rest of the inhabitants of Latin America.

The director of the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), Harold Robinson, said it is especially urgent to address the rights of women and girls and young people of African descent.

He said that the commitments emanating from the San José meeting will be taken to the next summit on Population and Development, which is scheduled November in Nairobi.

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