Despite the fact that the UNDP classifies Panama as a high human development country (UNDP 2016), national studies and the World Bank consider Panama to be one of the countries with the highest rate of economic inequality (UNICEF).
Children are the first victims of these inequalities, since 30% of them live in conditions of great poverty.
Santa Ana, a historic community adjacent to the thriving San Felipe district, suffers from years of deep-rooted exclusion. Only 24% of the population has completed high school and 46% are unemployed. Three-quarters of Santa Ana’s population earns less than $600 per month, 40% of which is less than $100.
FXB in action
In 2017, FXB joined the “Building Community for Sustainable Change” initiative (known as Santa Ana Lidera) that aimed to transform the living conditions of the Santa Ana community in Panama City. The goal was to address deep-rooted forms of exclusion through targeted interventions with adolescent mothers, low-income women entrepreneurs and poor families, while simultaneously training community leaders to support the impact of these interventions.
As part of this partnership, FXB implemented its VillageFXB poverty reduction methodology to 60 families in the Santa Ana community. This holistic approach was put in place in 1991 to simultaneously address its underlying factors: economic poverty, malnutrition, lack of access to health care, lack of access to education in the broadest sense of the term, and unsanitary housing and environmental conditions.