The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean says the percentage of people living in poverty in the region has declined for the second straight year.

In a report released Friday, the U.N. panel said 13 million people have climbed out of poverty since 2003.  It says better economic conditions and remittances sent home by emigrants working abroad have contributed to the decline.
The organization's executive director, Jose Luis Machinea, said projected figures for this year show the lowest poverty rates since the early 1980s, but he cautioned that two years of growth will not solve the region's problems.

The U.N. report says 213 million people, or nearly 41 percent of Latin Americans, live in poverty.