Poverty is a multidimensional phenomenon characterized by the presence of unsatisfied basic needs that are the result of a large number of factors. At the same time, poverty is the cause and consequence of social exclusion, which is understood as a situation that impedes people from attaining a minimum level of well-being, developing their potential, and participating on equal terms in the social, political and economic aspects of life. Age, ethnicity, gender, a condition of dependency, and exposure to family violence are some of the factors associated with social exclusion.

Our mission is to support efforts to help all people attain a minimum level of well-being, develop their potential, and participate on equal terms in the social, political, and economic aspects of life.

The goal of the IDB’s Social Protection and Health Division is to promote the social inclusion of people who are living in poverty and vulnerability, as well as to support minimum consumption levels among the population living in extreme poverty through programs that promote capacity-building among four population groups.

Impoverished or vulnerable children: Quality interactions and learning opportunities

Small children need good-quality interactions and learning opportunities. These can be provided in the home or in care facilities that support cognitive, language, social-emotional, and motor development, all of which promote a good start in life.

We support countries in strengthening child care services and employment interventions with families that promote quality child development, especially for children living in situations of poverty or vulnerability.

Youth: Cognitive skills and social-emotional functions

Youths need services that support the development of their cognitive skills and social-emotional functions, which are necessary to achieve effective social inclusion.

We direct our investments to strengthening the capacity for planning, implementation, and evaluation of social inclusion policies for youth living in situations of poverty or vulnerability, with an emphasis on developing the social-emotional skills necessary to achieve positive transitions to life as an adult.

Population in a state of dependency: Care services

People in situations of poverty and vulnerability who also live in a state of dependency should have access to care services to improve their quality of life, ensure their autonomy to the extent possible, and reduce the care burden for their families.

We look to guarantee that they receive care services that are of high quality and progressive in terms of financing mechanisms, alternative delivery methods, and delivery standards for providers and, with regard to competencies, for the personnel in charge of providing care.

Population in extreme poverty: Access to redistribution programs

It is essential to have efficient redistribution programs that direct benefits to those who most need them. In addition, it is necessary to strengthen capacity-building for families in extreme poverty so that they can access the opportunities generated by economic growth.

We direct investment to the analysis, development, and evaluation of innovative operations in redistribution policies and programs, including conditional cash transfer programs, in order to improve their redistributive efficiency and their impact in terms of capacity-building.