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FOOD POLICY. 1990 Dec; 15(6):518-24.Faced with balance of payment problems, declining commodity prices, and a corresponding reduction in foreign exchange earnings, Nigeria implemented a structural adjustment program in 1986. This step was taken in response to encouragement from the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, and was aimed to accomplish the following: find the true value of the official currency; overcome public sector inefficiency through improved public expenditure and parastatal rationalization; reschedule medium- and long-term debt to relieve debt burden; and encourage net foreign capital inflow while limiting foreign loans. Implementing and adhering to these macroeconomic adjustment policies has brought unprecedented inflation, lower real earnings, and increased malnutrition among lower income sectors of the population. The poor have suffered diminishing access to nutritious foods. Conscribed access to food and compromised nutritional status will most likely persist into the 1990s unless corrective policies are adopted. Appropriate policy would aim to increase the poor's access to food and limit population growth.
In: Population policy: contemporary issues, edited by Godfrey Roberts. New York, New York/London, England, Praeger, 1990. 179-91.The primary role of the World Bank is to assist Third World governments in the economic and social development process. Given the World Bank's view that reductions in fertility and mortality will lead to improvements in productivity, GNP growth, and maternal-child health, its population activities are focused on encouraging governments to adopt fertility decline as a national development objective and on providing loans for implementing population programs. The Bank's sector work, including country economic reports and population sector analyses, has been most ambitious in countries where there was no population policy or program, especially sub-Saharan African countries. Even in pronatalist countries, this sector work has been instrumental in leading to an open discussion of population issues. In other countries, such as Indonesia, the Bank's population sector work has been instrumental in helping governments to develop and implement a population program. Through the World Bank's access to the highest levels of government and its links to a wide range of ministries, it is in a position to influence governments by providing information about the seriousness of the population problem. In Africa, this type of dialogue has been facilitated through a series of regional senior policy and management-level seminars. The Bank is further able to shape policy development through its involvement in project identification and implementation. In recent years, Bank-funded projects have placed greater emphasis on management, institution building, demand-generation activities, and involvement of the private sector in service delivery. In the area of research, the Bank's current priority is the internal efficiency of alternative policy and program strategies. Evaluations have identified the policy dealogue that links population issues with other aspects of development as the World Bank's most effective role.