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New York, New York, UN-OHRLLS, .  p.Roughly a quarter of the world’s countries are classified as Least Developed Countries (LDCs), who remain the most vulnerable and weakest segment of the international community, of these 34 are in Africa, 15 in Asia-Pacific and one in the Caribbean. It is now clear that without achieving a huge acceleration in their development efforts, few global development targets can be met. The AIDS pandemic is worsening the prospects of LDCs as many of the hardest hit countries are facing massive financial and human resource constraints. These countries by definition have limited resources to generate sufficient economic and social development, and as such are at greater risk. HIV/AIDS is eroding these limited resources and affecting the most productive people so urgently needed for development. In other words, HIV/AIDS affects the present and future human and institutional capacities of countries and consequently their capacity to generate economic and social development. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1987. xi, 62 p. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 61)The problem of desertification in the Sahelian and Sudanian Zones (SSZ) of West Africa is addressed. Desertification is defined as the process of sustained decline in biological productivity of arid and semiarid land. Desertification is complex and poorly understood and is caused by the interaction between drought and human abuse. Better management is a viable long term solution. In the SSZ, there is variable rainfall and low fertility soil, and resources are overexploited by humans. The focus of discussion is on defining the nature of the problems and the geographic features of the SSZ; the problem is complex and multifaceted and includes population pressure. The nature of and pressures on traditional production systems (agrosylvicultural, agrosylvipastoral, and sylvopastoral) are described as well as the carrying capacities of traditional production systems. Past development activities and common weaknesses of development activities are reviewed with reference to the agricultural, livestock, and forestry sectors. The elements of a strategy for better resources management are delineated. Some general observations are made. Actions are defined with reference to pressure on 1) carrying capacity (CC) in areas where the ratio of population (RP) does not exceed CC, where RP slightly exceeds OC, and where RP greatly exceeds CC; the issue of irrigation increasing carrying capacity is dealt with. Other elements are 2) upgrading competence in research and training, 3) reducing demand (population and wood), and 4) the policy environment (land law and incentives). Implications for actions are indicated for the members of the Comite Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Secheresse dans le Sahel, governments, financiers in general, and for the World Bank group in particular. A statistical appendix is provided with information on land distribution, soil suitability, population and distribution by a number of factors, and carrying capacity. Elementary erosion techniques and research orientations also are provided.
From empty-world economics to full-world economics: recognizing an historical turning point in economic development.
In: Population, technology, and lifestyle: the transition to sustainability, edited by Robert Goodland, Herman E. Daly, Salah El Serafy. Washington, D.C., Island Press, 1992. 23-37.The human economy has moved from an era in which manmade capital was the limiting factor in economic development to the present when remaining natural capital has become the limiting factor. Natural capital is the stock from which comes natural resources. As human populations have grown and many countries have developed economically, manmade capital has been developed and accumulated to exploit often unowned natural capital and resources as if they had no price. No self-interested social class exists to protect these resources from overexploitation. Current levels of extracting and harvesting natural capital are simply not sustainable. This concept of full-world economics, however, is not accepted as academically legitimate by those of the empty-world school. Neoclassical economics considers factors of production to be substitutable and not complementary; this is not the case for the world's stock of natural capital. Assuming that natural capital has become the limiting factor, economic logic dictates the need to maximize its productivity and increase its supply. Investment and technology should therefore focus upon preserving and restoring natural capital while improving the productivity of natural capital more than manmade capital. Population growth must be reduced in developing countries and both population growth and per capita resource use must be constrained in more developed countries. Supporting these objectives, the World Bank, the UN Environment Program, and the UN Development Programme have started a biospheric infrastructure investment called the Global Environment Facility. It will provide concessional funding for programs investing in the preservation or enhancement of the protection of the ozone layer, reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, protection of international water resources, and protection of biodiversity. These issues will gain prominence in development bank lending policies.
In: The population debate: dimensions and perspectives. Papers of the World Population Conference, Bucharest, 1974. Volume I. New York, New York, United Nations, 1975. 484-97. (Population Studies, No. 57; ST/ESA/SER.A/57)The issues dealing with the interrelationships between population growth, food supply, and agricultural development are summarized. Focus is directed to past trends in food supplies, food consumption and nutritional requirements, future demand, future food supplies, agricultural employment, and rural development policies. A table included in the annex gives population growth rates, food production rates, food demand rates of growth, dietary energy supply, and protein supply by country. Meeting the nutritional needs of population growth is possible. Supply and demand vary between countries; supplies are unevenly distributed. Increased production alone will not solve the problems of poverty. Food production must meet nutritional and employment needs. Food production declined slightly during the 1960s due in many cases to policy, but in developing countries it occurred in spite of policy. In 34 countries, food production failed to keep pace with population growth. Population growth accounts for 70% of the demand for food increases. Between 1952 and 1972, in 54 out of 85 developing countries food production increased less than demand. Balancing supply with demand was unaffected by the rate of population growth. 1965-66 brought bad weather and declines in production; 1967-70 is associated with the "green revolution" and increased production. In 1971-72, bad weather again prevailed and food production declined in absolute terms as well as in relation to population growth. Imported food has created dependency relationships. Nutrition is a measure of total availability of dietary energy; developing countries during the 1960s had a 3% deficit while developed countries were 20% above requirements. In 1970, 62 developing countries had overall dietary energy deficits. Insufficient food supply affects poorer families and particularly pregnant and lactating women and children. 10 million children under 5 years of age suffer from severe malnutrition, 80 million from moderate malnutrition, and 120 million from milder forms of malnutrition, or about 50% of all the children in the developing world. 14% of the population excluding Asian economies have insufficient food intake to meet energy needs. Reducing the rate of population growth is essential.
AMERICAN JOURNAL OF PUBLIC HEALTH. 1990 Oct; 80(10):1188-92.Health trends since 1950 in both developed and developing countries are classified and discussed in terms of causative factors: socioeconomic development, cross-national influences and growth of national health systems. Despite the vast differences in scale of health statistics between developed and developing countries, economic hardships and high military expenditures, all nations have demonstrated significant declines in life expectancy and infant mortality rates. Social and economic factors that influenced changes included independence from colonial rule in Africa and Asia and emergence from feudalism in China, industrialization, rising gross domestic product per capita and urbanization. An example of economic development is doubling to tripling of commercial energy consumption per capita. Social advancement is evidenced by higher literacy rates, school enrollments and education of women. Cross-national influences that improved overall health include international trade, spread of technology, and the universal acceptance of the idea that health is a human right. National health systems in developing countries are receiving increasing shares of the GNP. Total health expenditure by government is highly correlated with life expectancy. The view of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund that health care should be privatized is a step backward with anti-egalitarian consequences. The UN Economic Commission for Africa attacked the IMF and the World Bank for promoting private sector funding of health care stating that this leads to lower standards of living and poorer health among the disadvantaged. Suggested health strategies for the future should involve effective action in the public sector: adequate financial support of national health systems; political commitment to health as the basis of national security; citizen involvement in policy and planning; curtailing of smoking, alcohol, drugs and violence; elimination of environmental and toxic hazards; and maximum international collaboration.
FRONT LINES. 1987 Sep; 27(8):8-9, 11.The USAID's mission in Nepal is to assist development until the people can sustain their own needs: although the US contributes only 5% of donor aid, USAID coordinates donor efforts. The mission's theme is to emphasize agricultural productivity, conserve natural resources, promote the private sector and expand access to health, education and family planning. Nepal, a mountainous country between India and Tibet, has 16 million people growing at 2.5% annually, and a life expectancy of only 51 years. Only 20% of the land is arable, the Kathmandu valley and the Terai strip bordering India. Some of the objectives include getting new seed varieties into cultivation, using manure and compost, and building access roads into the rural areas. Rice and wheat yields have tripled in the '80s relative to the yields achieved in 1970. Other ongoing projects include reforestation, irrigation and watershed management. Integrated health and family planning clinics have been established so that more than 50% of the population is no more than a half day's walk from a health post. The Nepal Fertility Study of 1976 found that only 2.3% of married women were using modern contraceptives. Now the Contraceptive Retail Sales Private Company Ltd., a social marketing company started with USAID help, reports that the contraceptive use rate is now 15%. Some of the other health targets are control of malaria, smallpox, tuberculosis, leprosy, acute respiratory infections, and malnutrition. A related goal is raising the literacy rate for women from the current 12% level. General education goals are primary education teacher training and adult literacy. A few descriptive details about living on the Nepal mission are appended.
Washington, D.C., Agency for International Development, 1982 May. 8 p. (A.I.D. Policy Paper)The Task Force of the US Agency for International Development (US AID) sets forth the overall objectives, policy decisions, and programming implications for food and agricultural assistance funded from Development Assistance, Economic Support Fund, and PL 480 budgets. The objective of US food and agricultural assistance is to enable developing countries to become self-reliant in food through increased agricultural production and greater economic efficiency in marketing and distribution of food products. Improved food consumption is gained through expanded employment to increase purchasing power, increased awareness of sound nutritional principles, and direct distribution of food from domestic or external sources to those facing severe malnutrition and food shortages. Policy elements to accomplish these objectives include 1) improving country policies to remove constraints on food production; 2) developing human resources and institutional capabilities, including research on food and agriculture problems; 3) expanding the role of private sectors in developing countries and private sector in agricultural development; and 4) employing available assistance instruments and technologies in an integrated and efficient manner. A sound country policy framework is fundamental for agricultural growth and should 1) rely on free markets, product incentives, and equitable access to resources; 2) give priority to complementary public sector investments that complement and encourage rather than compete with private sector growth. Private and voluntary organizations (PVOs) can also offer low-cost approaches to agricultural development that take local attitudes and conditions into account. Under appropriate conditions, US AID will finance a share of recurrent costs of food and agricultural research, education, extension or related institutions, provided that policy and institution frameworks assure effective utilization and the country is making maximum and/or increasing domestic resource mobilization efforts.