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New York, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993. xii, 329 p.The World Bank's 16th annual World Development Report focuses on the interrelationship between human health, health policy, and economic development. WHO provided much of the data on health and helped the World Bank on the assessment of the global burden of disease found in appendix B. Following an overview, the report has 7 chapters covering health in developing countries: successes and challenges; households and health; the roles of the government and the market in health; public health; clinical services; health inputs; and an agenda for action. Appendix a lists and discusses population and health data. The report concludes with the World Development Indicators for 127 low, lower middle, upper middle, and high income countries in tabular form. All developed and developing countries have experienced considerable improvements in health. But developing countries, particularly their poor, still experience many diseases, many of which can be prevented or cured. They are starting to encounter the problems of increasing health system costs already experienced by developed countries. The World Bank proposes a 3-part approach to government policies for improving health in developing countries. Governments must promote an economic growth that empowers households to improve their own health. Growth policies must secure increased income for the poor and expand investment in education, particularly for girls. Government spending on health must address cost effective programs that help the poor, such as control and treatment of infectious diseases and of malnutrition. Governments must encourage greater diversity and competition in the financing and delivery of health services. Donors can finance transitional costs of change in low income countries.
In: The global possible: resources, development, and the new century, edited by Robert Repetto. New Haven, Connecticut, Yale University Press, 1985. 255-98. (World Resources Institute Book)Everyone uses fresh water. Water is the most used substance by industry. Even though industry only makes up 5-10% of current worldwide water use, it contributes a disproportionate amount of toxic contaminants to the water supply. The most important socioeconomic factors of municipal water demand are household income and size. Agricultural demand is the single largest demand for water. In the US, it makes up 83% of annual total water consumption. Water demand has resulted in some of the world's biggest construction and weather modification projects which greatly alter basic ecosystems. Multinational institutions such as the World Bank and the International Development Association support most of these projects in developing countries. We have abused water perhaps more than any other resource. These abuses have caused considerable adverse effects. For example, after farmers in Africa and Asia began irrigating fields, many people fell ill with schistomosiasis. Other waterborne diseases include typhoid fever and diarrheal diseases. Investments in water supplies as well as in wastewater treatment are needed to improve public health. The largest consumers of fresh water in the world are those countries with the largest populations (49% of the world's population) and largest total land area (32% of the this area): China, India, the US, and the USSR. These 4 countries have 61-70% of the world's total irrigated land, but China and India have most of it (54%). Most US water expenditures are for water pollution control. The US has a very efficient agricultural system but the efficiency is technical rather than economic. Most water expenditures in the USSR and India are for irrigation. China spends most of its water resource funds on irrigation and drainage systems. All countries in the world should conduct a rational analysis of fresh water uses, implement rational water pricing policies to conserve water use, and stabilize water supplies such as capturing surface runoff.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1980 Aug. 166 p.This report examines some of the difficulties and prospects faced by developing countries in continuing their social and economic development and tackling poverty for the next 5-10 years. The 1st part of the report is about the economic policy choices facing both developing and richer countries and about the implications of these choices for growth. The 2nd part of the report reviews other ways to reduce poverty such as focusing on human development (education and training, health and nutrition, and fertility reduction). Throughout the report economic projections for developing countries have been carried out, drawing on the World Bank's analysis of what determines country and regional growth. Oil-exporting countries will face greater economic growth; their average GNP per person could grow 3-3.5% in the 1980s. Oil-importing countries will develop slower or fall to 1.8%/year. Poverty in oil-importing developing countries could grow at about 2.4% GNP/person and by 1990 there would be 80 million fewer people in absolute poverty. Factors which will contribute to the economic problems of developing countries are trade (import/export), energy, and capital flow. The progress of developing countries depends on internal policies and initiatives concerning investment and production efficiency, human development and population. Not only can human development increase growth but it can help to reduce absolute poverty.