UNDP works with national partners to reduce poverty and advocate for human development. Almost 30% of people in the region either live in poverty or are at risk of living in poverty; and increases are expected by approximately five million people for every one percent decline in GDP (World Bank, 2009). Most countries in the region face rising inequalities, a large setback in social protection, an expanding informal sector, a decrease in male life expectancy, and a massive surge in migration.
The region has experienced the highest increase in socioeconomic inequality in the world over the last 20 years. One third of people surveyed in the region say that they are excluded - from economic life, social services and participation in society.