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As a paradoxical consequence of the financial crisis in Argentina, public opinion and civil society organizations have became more aware of children, especially the poorest among them. To reduce poverty, the Government has implemented social programmes at an estimated cost of $1,225 million annually. The main programme is called the Heads of Household Plan, which grants a subsidy to unemployed heads of households with children under 19 years of age. The Plan covers 1,8 million people and costs about $365 million per year.
The worsening of the social situation prevents the country from achieving some of the Millennium Development Goals. The percentage of people living daily on less than $1 has increased significantly, while living conditions have deteriorated for slum-dwellers. Soup kitchens in schools and school grants to the poorest students has kept most of the children in the classrooms. The Government provides drugs to HIV-positive people free of cost. Long-term trends show a moderate increase on HIV incidence, while maternal mortality and teenage pregnancy rates remain the same.