Child Poverty in the Developing World

The social policy of the Mexican Government is aimed to improve human development and wellbeing among Mexicans through the development of their capacities in health, education and nutrition, in order to promote equality and overcome poverty. Oportunidades is one of the core axes of Mexican policy, and in 2012 is benefiting 5.8 million families. Other 700,000 households are beneficiaries of the Food Support Program (Programa e Apoyo Alimentario-PAL), which operates in marginalized areas with no access to education or health services. Both programs -Oportunidades and PAL- make up a total coverage of 6.5 million families, which means that 30% of Mexicans receive cash transfers in order to help them overcome their poverty condition and build a different future for themselves and their families.

The economic incentive disbursed to our beneficiaries, helps their families –especially children- improve their nutritional and health condition, as well as to increase their levels of school attendance, based on the fact that education is the foundation for a better future. Our results demonstrate that incentives provided for nutrition, health and education can make a difference in transiting from the lack of opportunities for development to achieving adequate living standards. In the current phase of social policy, Oportunidades ́ challenge is to increase options and alternative exit doors in order to link those families living in extreme poverty with productive options that will allow them to use their newly developed capabilities to increase
their income. During its 15 years of operation, Oportunidades has demonstrated that it does work. The inter-institutional intervention and the conditional compliance with certain requirements (corresponsability) of its beneficiaries are creating a positive impact in the life of over 34 million Mexicans that nowadays have a better living.