The Republic of Chile is the southernmost country in the world, situated in Latin America, with a population of 19.5 million. It is one of the most industrialized countries in Latin America and is the world's largest copper producer. Copper production constitutes 50% of the country's exports and consequently, Chile is vulnerable to the fluctuations in global copper pricing.
While one of Latin America’s most economically prosperous countries, Chile also has the widest gap in wealth distribution.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Chile since 1965.
In Chile, around 1 in 5 children do not finish primary school. This is not the same across all of the country because there is a wide disparity in educational attainment levels across the country.
Chile currently has one of the lowest public spending on education. This leaves many schools underfunded.
As a result, access to quality education is limited and related to a family’s socio-economic standing.
Despite successful measures to reduce poverty rates across the country, income inequality remains high.
Nearly 53% of households are classified as economically vulnerable, wherein families have no buffer against any abrupt changes in income.
Across Latin America, unequal wealth distribution is at its widest in Chile: 65% wider than the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) average.
In 2010, around 400,000 homes were destroyed in an earthquake. The earthquake devastated many areas around the country. The government estimated two million people had been directly affected with over 400,000 homes and commercial properties destroyed.
Infrastructure repairs began as soon as possible, however, the disparity in services provided to more deprived neighbourhoods was glaring. Hundreds of families had to move to makeshift shelters and many have been living in poor conditions till today.