A paradigm shift from the articulation of modes of production approach to the livelihoods diversification approach, occurring in the early 1990s, coincided and was symbiotic with neoliberal and capitalist interventions among the peasant poor, whether they continue to live in rural regions of origin or have migrated to urban centers. Although partially successful in relieving the dire situation of some of the poor, programs such as Progresa/Oportunidades and Seguro Popular (Popular Health Insurance) in Mexico have many flaws, including in the first case, increasing burdens on mothers and, in the second case, underfunding and exclusionary factors. Endorsed by international financial institutions such as the World Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the International Monetary Fund, they target individual behavior in the interests of poverty reduction. They also rest on a debatable hope that by skilling and insuring improved health among the dispossessed, a more adequate labor force will be available for the promised, yet unrealized, expansion of the formal economy.

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