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[Washington, D.C.], World Bank, 2008 Jan. 4 p. (en breve No. 114)In 2001, after a long period of recession, Argentina faced the greatest economic, political and institutional crisis in its history. Unemployment reached levels nearing 18% and the poverty rate reached a peak of 58% in 2002, increasing twofold the number of people living below the poverty line and impacting –in a disproportionate manner- the most vulnerable and poverty stricken families. The crisis also had a tremendous impact on Argentina’s middle-class. Increased unemployment and the freezing of wages and bank deposits forced many families to face poverty for the first time, and to seek new survival strategies. The crisis caused the rupture of traditional roles within the household, forcing many women into the workforce, many young people to leave school in search of a job, and many tradtional breadwinners to remain at home. In many cases, these changes challenged not just the economic viability of households but the role of families. Recognizing the potential impact of the situation, the Government of Argentina approached the World Bank for a small loan ($5 million), aimed at promoting gender equity and the development of families through the Family Strengthening and Social Capital Promotion Project (PROFAM). (excerpt)
New York, New York, United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, 2009 Jul. 56 p.The Millennium Declaration set 2015 as the target date for achieving most of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which established quantitative benchmarks to halve extreme poverty in all its forms. As the date approaches, less than six years away, the world finds itself mired in an economic crisis that is unprecedented in its severity and global dimensions. Progress towards the goals is now threatened by sluggish -- or even negative -- economic growth, diminished resources, fewer trade opportunities for the developing countries, and possible reductions in aid flows from donor nations. At the same time, the effects of climate change are becoming increasingly apparent, with a potentially devastating impact on countries rich and poor. Today, more than ever, the commitment to building the global partnership embodied in the Millennium Declaration must guide our collective actions. This report presents an annual assessment of progress towards the MDGs. Although data are not yet available to reveal the full impact of the recent economic downturn, they point to areas where progress towards the eight goals has slowed or reversed. (Excerpt)
Economic drought strangles African recovery: Assembly calls for increased aid, debt relief - UN General Assembly - includes interview with Stephen Lewis, Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations.
UN Chronicle. 1988 Mar; 25(1): p..Despite courageous internal reform by African Governments since 1986, spiralling debt, cuts in foreign aid and the crash of commodity prices threaten to exacerbate the ongoing African economic crisis, devastating millions of people across the continent. "The economic crisis now facing Africa can exact a toll every bit as deadly as the drought (of 1983-1985)," Secretary-General Javier Perez de Cuellar reported to the forty-second General Assembly in October 1987. The situation has deteriorated, he said, since the Assembly adopted the United Nations Programme of Action for African Economic Recovery and Development, 1986-1990, at a special session of the General Assembly in May 1986. His report examines conditions in Africa one year after the adoption of the Programme, under which African Governments agreed to adjust internal policies, and the international community pledged to increase aid and improve terms of trade. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., Population Reference Bureau [PRB], 2003 Aug. 3 p.Still reaping the repercussions of the Asian financial crisis, Indonesia has in recent years struggled with numerous difficulties ranging from social unrest, political instability, and ethnic and sectarian violence to a decline in access to health care and other public services. More recent events, including the bomb blast in Jakarta — which followed other deadly bombings in 2002 — have increased fears that the sprawling archipelago may be facing new political and population pressures. (excerpt)
[Crisis, economic policy reforms and employment in Yaounde] Crise, reformes des politiques economiques et emploi a Yaounde.
Paris, France, Centre Francais sur la Population et le Developpement [CEPED], 2001 Sep. 35 p. (Dossiers du CEPED No. 64)Cameroon has experienced economic recession since 1987, from which it is now only barely emerging. This paper examines the impact of the economic crisis and economic reforms implemented to improve the situation upon employment in Yaounde. Results are based upon the analysis of data drawn from a literature review of research upon the problem, conducted in Yaounde during November-December 1996, by CEPED and IFORD. The study explored labor market access, job losses, and unemployment. The economic crisis and subsequent corrective measures were found to have a disastrous impact upon employment in the city, restricting young people’s access to jobs, particularly in the public sector, and provoking numerous layoffs especially in the modern employment sector. The number of job layoffs increased throughout the implementation of stabilization and internal adjustment measures recommended by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. These job losses and limited access to job markets increased unemployment levels among the city’s youth. Neither stabilization and adjustment measures, nor currency devaluation stimulated employment in Yaounde, a city in which available human resources are currently underutilized.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1999 Nov 20; 319(7221):1324.The UN International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) disclosed the dreadful health situation in the former Soviet Bloc. According to the report, "After the Fall: The Human Impact of Ten Years Transition," women and children in the former communist republic have suffered hard from both economic and social problems. Findings on health are particularly upsetting, especially with the re-emergence of the virtually eliminated "poverty diseases" such as diphtheria, poliomyelitis, tuberculosis, and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) including HIV infection. Cases of diphtheria in Russia and Ukraine increased to 43,000 in 1998 from 1900 in 1990. Western parts of the former Soviet Union are now suffering from the reappearance of tuberculosis (10% affecting children), syphilis (221 cases per 100,000 population), and STDs, while HIV infection rates were as high as 270,000 by the end of 1998. On the other hand, economic depression has given rise to increasing drug misuse, alcoholism, injury, and suicide among the young population. Patrick McCormick, a spokesperson of the UNICEF Research Center in Florence, which published the report, said "there is freedom now, but the children are paying high for that freedom and they are not in the position to benefit from it".
POPULATION AND DEVELOPMENT REVIEW. 1998 Sep; 24(3):664-6.The 1997 Asian financial crisis began in Thailand and spread rapidly to other countries of eastern and southeastern Asia, acquiring broader economic and political dimensions. No country has been worse affected by the crisis than Indonesia, where the economy has suffered a major contraction, the currency has depreciated by approximately 80%, capital has fled, and there have been widespread corporate insolvencies, disruption of trade and distribution systems, and a major decline in living standards. Riots in Jakarta and some other cities, targeted especially at businesses owned by Chinese Indonesians, caused considerable mortality and physical destruction. Compounding factors were drought leading to crop losses and forest fires earlier in 1997, and uncertainty over the country's future leadership. The rise in food and fuel prices in the context of growing unemployment increased the proportion of impoverished households in the country. Health services and education became less attainable by the masses. The nearest comparable experience in Indonesia's history was the Great Depression. Both fertility and mortality rates may decline.
[Trends in the urbanization process in Central America in the 1980's] Tendencias del proceso de urbanizacion en Centroamerica en los 80.
CUADERNOS DEL CENDES. 1990 Jan-Aug; (13-14):101-17.In the 1980s, urbanization in Central America was increasing compared to the three previous decades. By 1990, the urban population reached 42% in Guatemala, 44% in El Salvador, 43% in Honduras, 59% in Nicaragua, 53% in Costa Rica, and 54% in Panama. The urban population increased mostly in the largest cities, in contrast to Latin America, where secondary cities grew fastest. This trend was particularly true in Managua and San Salvador because of the military conflicts. The only exception was Honduras, where the second city underwent stronger growth. The urban population comprised 51.7% women and 48.3% men in Central America. The segregation and polarization of social classes was also increasing because of increased poverty and unemployment during the 1980s. This was partly caused by the increasing privatization of public services, decentralization, and the reinforcement of local governments, which all ensued from the structural readjustment programs of the International Monetary Fund. This neoliberal model of economic development in the short run resulted in increased poverty and unemployment for the urban populations. In 1982, the informal sector represented 29% of the total employment in Central America, and its share reached 40% in Managua and San Salvador. Urban unemployment increased from 2.2% in 1980 to 12% in 1988 in Guatemala; from 8.8% to 13.1% in Honduras; and from 10.4% to 20.8% in Panama. In the political arena, the process of democratization was underway, with civil presidents taking power and promoting privatization and deregulation of the economy. There was a close relationship between the urban social structure, the economy, and politics in the region. In Costa Rica, during the Arias administration between 1986 and 1990, a program was implemented creating 80,000 new homes, and in El Salvador there was an increasing demand to find a negotiated solution to the military conflict. These new political and economic perspectives could lead to genuine popular participation in solving urban problems.
[Latin America and the crisis (points for the balance of a decade)] America Latina y la crisis (apuntes para el balance de una decada).
CUADERNOS DEL CENDES. 1990 Jan-Aug; (13-14):146-66.The decade of the 1980s was catastrophic for the countries of Latin America because of profound transformations in the world economy, which started in the 1970s, the wilting of the state development programs that were imposed after World War II, and the collapse of socialism with the incipient transition to market economies. The crisis started because of the erosion of the world economic system as constituted under the Bretton Woods agreement; the drastic drop in the economic growth of market economies; the increased costs of living and the deterioration of the environment; the decrease in industrial capacity; and the emergence of transnationalization of production. In Latin America, the economic models that had been in place without solving underdevelopment became even more obsolete (import substitution, internal trade, and the role of the state). The crisis of socialism and the rapprochement of eastern European countries to western Europe also affected Latin America (e.g., Germany cancelled 30 mine exploration projects in Bolivia due to investments in East Germany). The structural readjustment policies of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank resulted in currency devaluations, redistribution of government funds, elimination of various subsidies, reduction of public debt and social expenditures, reduction of public employment, and payment of external debt. The result was more inflation (in Bolivia, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina, inflation rates were 683.7%, 157.1%, 100.1%, and 326.2%, respectively, between 1980 and 1986), unemployment, and poverty in the lost decade of the 1980s. After 1982, state expenditures on roads, education, hospitals, and nutrition declined by 40% in Mexico. Even though most countries returned to democracy in the region, this was at the cost of the increased role of the military and the transnationals. The grand parties collapsed and in Venezuela, Mexico, and Colombia authoritarian tendencies survived into the 1970s degrading democracy. The states' socioeconomic regulatory role has to be redefined.
AIDS ANALYSIS AFRICA. 1995 Jun; 5(3):9-10.Cameroon participated in World Health Organization (WHO)-coordinated global AIDS control efforts for about 10 years, when the HIV/AIDS epidemic was just beginning in Cameroon. The government established a National AIDS Committee and AIDS Control Service to provide information on prevention of HIV/AIDS. The National AIDS Program was donor-oriented, donor-driven, donor-sustained, and donor-sustaining. It failed, as illustrated by a strong increase in HIV seroprevalence between 1989 and 1992 from 60 to 1304 cases. The donors then abandoned Cameroon. Government officials did not decentralize the program, largely because they believed that districts and communities are incapable of understanding HIV/AIDS-related issues and of managing money from donors. Since the primary health care (PHC) system broke down, it was impossible to integrate HIV/AIDS control activities into PHC, needed for program sustainability. The government did not commit financial resources to the national AIDS program. When donors first provided monies to Cameroon, the economy was strong. 10 years later, a politically and economically unstable situation prevails in Cameroon. WHO has recalled all its staff in Cameroon. The donors often attached conditions that hurt HIV-infected persons. The European Union did not implement a project to train laboratory technicians in the screening and diagnosis of AIDS because of problems encountered with its blood banking and its youth projects, also in Cameroon. Both of these projects have ended. The USAID Office closed in 1994 with about three months' notice, allegedly due to clashes with the Cameroon government. Not all persons working with the funding agencies have totally abandoned Cameroon, however. The government needs to be more concerned about its people and allocation of resources. As Cameroon struggles with its problems, HIV/AIDS is increasing in Cameroon.
[Severe food shortages menace numerous countries in 1994] Des penuries alimentaires graves menacent de nombreux pays en 1994.
POP SAHEL. 1994 May; (20):37.At the threshold of 1994 at least 20 countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, and the Near East were familiar with severe food shortages which threaten millions of persons with hunger and malnutrition. Existing food products exist in enough quantity to feed 5.4 millions of persons worldwide, but the problem comes with distributing them to persons who are famished and malnourished, according to the Director General of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO). War, civil strife, and economic chaos exacerbate the situation in eight countries that are in danger of food shortages. FAO estimates that there are almost 790 million persons with chronic malnutrition in the developing world, of which 190 million are children suffering from protein energy malnutrition. Some 190 million persons suffer from hidden hunger, diseases due to dietary micronutrient deficiency which can slow mental and physical growth and lead to blindness and other serious disorders. In 1993, global production of cereals fell dramatically by 4% (1.88 billion tons), putting stress on the serious regional food shortages and imposing higher prices on international markets. The harvest decline also means that global cereal stocks will be reduced in 1994. General stocks are going to stay in the order of 17-18% of annual consumption, the minimum percentage to guarantee global food security. To avoid a larger puncture in the safety net that represents global cereal stocks for global food security, a minimum increase of about 65 million tons, or 3% of global cereal production, is necessary in 1994. This depends largely on 1994 atmospheric conditions. A blow to an increase in cereal production would have serious effects on international cereal prices which are already high in response to the restructuring of supplies in 1993-1994 and on food security perspectives, particularly for countries with food shortages. FAO has estimated differences in the world supply of various cereals.
SOUTHERN AFRICA POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC MONTHLY. 1994 Mar; 7(6):14-5.Since the International Monetary Fund/World Bank Economic Structural Adjustment Program (ESAP) in Zimbabwe was adopted in 1990, health care and education costs have escalated, and many people fail to get these services owing to poverty. The post-independence era in Zimbabwe witnessed a tremendous growth in education and health with many schools, colleges, hospitals and clinics built, professional staff employed, and a general expansion in demand. Nevertheless, the question of drug shortages and ever-increasing health care costs were not addressed. A deficient transport network, the increases in drug prices, the exodus of professional staff, the devaluation of the Zimbabwe dollar, and the cost recovery measures endangered the right to acceptable health care. The social service cutbacks adopted by the government in education will deepen poverty. After independence, the Zimbabwean education system had a free tuition policy at primary school levels. Now that the government reintroduced school fees, a generation of illiterate and semi-illiterate school dropouts will grow up. The social implications of this include increases in crime, prostitution, the number of street kids, the spread of diseases, and social discontent, which are the symptoms of a shrinking economy. As a result of the cost recovery measures, school enrollment in rural areas has gone up. Some urban parents have been forced to transfer their children to rural schools. Higher education also suffers, as government subsidies to colleges and universities have been drastically curtailed. The budgetary cuts have grave repercussions for teaching and research, as poor working conditions and low morals of lecturers and students become prevalent. Most wage-earning Zimbabweans' living standards have deteriorated as the cost of living continues to escalate, coupled with the cost recovery measures in the name of ESAP.
Lancet. 1993 Aug 14; 342(8868):440-1.The policy recommendations in the 1993 world development report (WDR) call for more investment in public health and clinical care, reducing poverty, increasing education for girls, and private health care provision. The structural adjustment policies supported by the World Bank influence growth, poverty, and health expenditure. All but 2 of the 10 studies on the effect of such policies on poverty and health were produced by or for the Bank. One study concluded that poverty levels increased in both Latin America and Africa between 1985 and 1990 and remained static in south Asia. Another study endorsed the view that structural adjustment in Africa had failed to generate economic growth, and it had resulted in a significant decline in investment. After nearly $150 billion of adjustment lending by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, there is a need to look for alternative policies. WDR claims that public spending on health in countries implementing structural adjustment policies recovered faster in the last few years of the 1980s than in non-adjusting countries. Yet the adjusting countries' per capita expenditure declined by the same amount as that of the non-adjusting countries between 1980 and 1990. The report's estimate of $12 per person for the cost of public health and essential clinical services in low-income countries is far beyond the health budgets of many for minimum levels of coverage of health services. In sub-Saharan Africa, donors already finance an average of 20% of health expenditure. In many areas where user charges have been introduced, there have been sharp declines in essential services and primary education and some evidence for reversals in maternal and perinatal mortality rates. In Guinea and Benin, the success of cost-recovery schemes and the improved services were in part achieved by the subsidies by UNICEF. The report does not suggest a strong commitment to integrated health systems.
BMJ. British Medical Journal. 1992 May 30; 304(6839):1392-3.The role of physicians in dealing with global poverty and environmental destruction is through education of the medical community and others, research, campaigning, and individual, concerted action. The World Bank has issued a warning that world poverty is increasing and is associated with environmental destruction. The World Bank further states that it is morally necessary to lessen poverty as a prerequisite to sustaining the environment. An estimate of $75 billion/year until the year 2000 was given as essential for water and sanitation programs, electricity, infrastructure, carbon dioxide emissions, agriculture, population, and female education. The ideological split is no longer East vs. West but rich vs. poor. World survival is at stake. The rich have an important role to play in redirecting resources to the developing world, easing the debt crisis, and meeting costs of environmental improvement. Carefully planned economic development should reduce pollution. Situations such as the US ceasing use of coal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions being offset by the Chinese doubling coal consumption by the year 2000 should not occur. Rich countries must become involved in global poverty not only because it is wrong that almost 2 billion people are without enough food and water but also countries with power and resources have a responsibility to take the lead. Global economic conditions created the debt crisis. Money was loaned eagerly by commercial banks in the 1970 when the banks were flooded with oil dollars. The crisis came in 1980 when the US government forced up interests rates. The result was that in 1990 developing countries had to pay back 34.5 million pounds in interest on their debt after receiving 28.3 billion pounds in aid. The poor paid 17.40 pounds/person. Debt exceeded gross national product in some countries. The International Monetary Fund pressured governments to cut public spending, consumer subsidies, and wages. Educational expenditures in 37 very poor countries declined by 25%. Efforts have been made through the 1989 Brady plan and in 1990 John Major's Trinidad plan to ease poor countries debt obligations. The "Economist" recommends that governments force banks to write off the debts.
TRANSACTIONS OF THE ROYAL SOCIETY OF TROPICAL MEDICINE AND HYGIENE. 1989 Jan-Feb; 83(1):33-5.We prefer to use the term infant mortality rate (IMR) than infant mortality. IMR is less emotional, causes less anxiety, and implies poverty and hardship while infant mortality signifies dead children. Not all societies consider prevention of infant deaths as their 1st priority albeit still a social and emotional priority. IMR has been used for a century as a health subindex. Further many people consider the IMR as an indicator of adverse economic, nutritional, environmental, and social conditions. The IMR should be used in a more restrictive manner since children can be saved from death yet they continue to experience morbidity and live in poverty. Further those factors which cause infant deaths also affect survivors and their consequences are hard to gauge. To improve on overall health and not just reduction of infant mortality, a local and appropriate health service which the population accepts must have clear objectives and provide continuous prevention and treatment programs for all cohorts of children. Yet many developing countries which would clearly benefit from continuous child health programs do not operate such a health system. Similarly international, bilateral, and other external organizations who support child survival programs must also plan on continuous self sustaining services that are directed to the living as well as the dead. Moreover their priorities should be compatible with national priorities. In conclusion, a global or even national recession that raises absolute or relative poverty or reduces the transfer of resources which are now going to temporary vertical infant death prevention programs will most likely increase IMR and decrease infant health.
In: Population perspectives. Statements by world leaders. Second edition, [compiled by] United Nations Fund for Population Activities [UNFPA]. New York, New York, UNFPA, 1985. 156-7.While pursuing development plans, the government of Trinidad and Tobago has taken into consideration demographic concerns. Following World War II, the country's population growth rate began a significant increase, as the birth rate went from 30/1000 in 1946 to 42/1000 in 1955. During the same period, the death rate fell from 14 to 10. But in 1962, the same year it gained independence, the country adopted a comprehensive population control policy that embraced family planning. The success of this policy can be measured in the fact that the birth rate dropped to 24/1000, cutting the population growth by 1/2. Recently, however, another expansion in the birth rate has again lead to an increase in the population growth. In turn, the government has sought to bring tighter supervision over population control programs. These developments have taken place at a time international recession. And although the country has sustained real economic growth during this period, the government's economic plans have been altered. In response, the country has began the Multi-Sectoral Development Plan for 1983-86. Some of the plan's objectives include: protecting the gains of previous population control policies, creating a more diversified economy, keeping unemployment down, improving the status of women, improving primary health care, expanding educational development at all levels, and developing the country's infrastructures. Because of the concern over population growth, the government has given greater emphasis to the collection and analysis of demographic data, and has actively participated in international efforts concerning such issues.
New York, New York, United Nations, 1989. , vii, 397 p. (ST/CSDHA/6)This is the 1st update of the World Survey on the Role of Women in Development published by WHO. 11 chapters consider such topics as the overall theme, debt and policy adjustment, food and agriculture, industrial development, service industries, informal sector, policy response, technology, women's participation in the economy and statistics. The thesis of the document is that while isolated improvements in women's condition can be found, the economic deterioration in most developing countries has struck women hardest, causing a "feminization of poverty." Yet because of their potential and their central role in food production, processing, textile manufacture, and services among others, short and long term policy adjustments and structural transformation will tap women's potential for full participation. Women;s issues in agriculture include their own nutritional status, credit, land use, appropriate technology, extension services, intrahousehold economics and forestry. For their part in industrial development, women need training and/or re-training, affirmative action, social support, and better working conditions to enable them to participate fully. In the service industries the 2-tier system of low and high-paid jobs must be dismantled to allow women upward mobility. Regardless of the type of work being discussed, agricultural, industrial, primary or service, formal or informal, family roles need to be equalized so that women do not continue to bear the triple burden of work, housework and reproduction.