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Venezuela

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Social equality as the new focus of the government

Since 1999 Venezuela has been going through a process of change in its political, economic, and institutional structures culminating in the new Constitution of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, approved this year. The Constitution has served as a benchmark for the development of a new social policy with a comprehensive focus, showcasing respect for human rights and designed to combat social exclusion. The commitment of the government to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) is part and parcel of this approach.

The advocacy efforts of the United Nations system served as a basis for the formulation by the government of a progress report in 2004 on complying with the MDGs and describing efforts to tailor the Goals to the domestic environment. The strategy reflects the government focus on achieving the MDGs through the implementation (beginning in 2003) of massive social programmes (known as missions), which seek to reduce inequality and offer services and options for overcoming poverty in such a way that all members of society may truly participate in its benefits.

The success of these missions has not been completely evaluated but they have made considerable headway in pursuing a broad-based and equitable policy, embracing those elements of society that have been denied the right to exercise their social rights. This has been achieved through improvements in the distribution of income and wealth and through social empowerment.

Concerted efforts still need to be made to localize the MDGs at regional and local levels in such a way as to focus more directly on bridging gaps and disparities that are masked by the national averages and to improve the systems for monitoring and evaluating the MDGs and thereby verify compliance. United Nations organizations have led the incorporation of DevInfo as a national, regional and local tool for monitoring compliance with the MDGs. This database system for compiling data on the MDGs has been adopted by the National Institute of Statistics.

Last updated September 2008

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Map of Venezuela in MDG Monitor


The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.

Total population
(millions):
26.8
Surface area
(sq. km):
912,050
GDP per capita
(PPP US$):
6,531
GDP growth
(annual %):
10.3
Human Development Index
(Rank 1 - 177):
72
Life expectancy at birth
(years):
72.8
Population below PPP $1 per day
(%):
18.5
Net enrolment ratio in primary education
(% both sexes):
93.2
Carbon dioxide emissions per capita
(metric tons):
6.5735
Unemployment, total
(% of total labor force):
15.8

NOTE: The MDG data presented here is the latest available from the United Nations Statistics Division. The World Bank has recently released new poverty estimates, which reflect improvements in internationally comparable price data. The new data estimates set a new poverty line of US$1.25 a day and offer a much more accurate picture of the cost of living in developing countries. They are based on the results of the 2005 International Comparison Program (ICP), released in first half of 2008. Country-specific poverty estimates will be released by the World Bank in late 2008