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POPULI. 1998 Jun; 25(2):4-5.This article discusses the potential for greater health and longer life in the next century. The discussion is based on the World Health Organization (WHO) "World Health Report 1998: Life in the 21st Century - A Vision for All." WHO predicts that premature deaths of persons aged under 50 years will be halved by 2025. Future health benefits will depend upon the investments made in the health of women. Global life expectancy is expected to rise from 66 years to 73 years during 1998-2025. At present, 3 of 4 people in the least developed countries die before the age of 50 years. 21 million will die before the age of 50 years, including 10 million small children. By 2025, 26 countries will have life expectancies exceeding 80 years, such as Iceland, Italy, Japan, Sweden, Australia, Canada, France, Greece, Netherlands, Singapore, Switzerland, Belgium, Barbados, Costa Rica, Finland, Germany, the UK, and the US. The lowest life expectancies will be in Angola, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Chad, Mozambique, Niger, Somalia, Afghanistan, and Sierra Leone. Increased life expectancy will result in over 800 million people aged over 65 years. Increased life expectancy is attributed to economic prosperity during 1950-73 and recovery after 1994, increased food supplies, increased gross domestic product, immunization against the 6 major childhood diseases, and lower child mortality. Rates of life expectancy are declining in poor countries. The world needs to focus on those people who are farthest behind in health and wealth and those trapped in the worst poverty. Infectious diseases are expected to be sharply reduced by 2025.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1994. 76 p. (World Bank Policy Paper)This World Bank paper focuses on strategies for improving the status of women, the constraints on women, and conceptual issues. The women in development approach should be expanded to include gender and development approaches that include the roles of men and women. Men's attitudes and women's conditions must change. Women's productivity is much less than women's potential. Development that invests in women's education, family planning, and access to land, inputs, and extension is an act of social justice that reduces poverty. The gender gap in school enrollment remains large in many countries. Inequalities include women's push into low-paid work, discrimination in food intake and health care use, and high maternal mortality. Women have not made proportional gains in social and economic development due to limited options and barriers. Project experience reveals that investments in education, health, wage labor, agricultural and natural resource management, and financial resources are beneficial. World Bank women-in-development programs treat women as special target groups for receipt of benefits. The World Bank is working towards a policy that takes into account relations between men and women and the impact of gender relations on productivity and poverty reduction. The Bank will support national initiatives in proven and unambiguous activities. "Effective program delivery depends upon careful design, monitoring, evaluation, and staff training." The focus will be on countries where there is great underinvestment in women. Lending and structural adjustment programs will address gender issues. Bank staff will need to be retrained and sensitized to the importance of integrating gender issues into operations. Staff must be trained to implement analytical work, pilot programs, and impact evaluations. Some countries may need to reallocate resources. The Bank strategy relies on national governments, leadership, and commitment.
ICPD 94. 1994 May; (15):3.A brief presentation was given of the statements Dr. Nafis Sadik, Executive Director of the UN Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA) and Secretary General of the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), made before a meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on resource flows to developing countries, population, international trade, and migration. The meeting was attended by finance ministers from 24 countries. The IMF Managing Director gave an overview at the meeting of the world economic situation and the need for international assistance for effective population and family planning programs. Dr. Sadik emphasized this need as a requirement for implementation of the 20-year ICPD Programme of Action. The increased investment was considered beneficial because it would increase life expectancy, lower demand for health and education services, reduce pressure in the job market, reduce economic hardship, and increase social stability. The growth of prosperity was considered by Dr. Sadik to be tied to increased demand for housing, energy, and utilities. A slower and more balanced population growth would allow for government services to meet demands and for the world to adjust to increasing numbers of people. Several ministers supported the call for increased funding of population programs and poverty reduction programs. A special communique by ministers recognized that the connections between economic growth, population, poverty reduction, health, investment in human resources, and environmental degradation must be integrated into population policy. Ministers urged the ICPD to emphasize improvements in primary school enrollment in low income countries, in access to family planning and health services, and in maternal and child mortality rates. Ministers wanted to see increases in the proportion of aid directed to population programs above the current 1.25%. Requests were made for more research into the social, political, and economic impact of international migration among both host and origin countries.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1990. , 17 p.This brochure summarizes selected chapters from a forthcoming publication of a World Bank study on women's education in developing countries. The poorest benefit, and for girls and women, the benefits are many. Failure to raise the education levels of women has hugh consequences for increasing productivity and income and improving quality of life. Development has been affected both by the level of schooling of women and the gender gap. New approaches are being explored; policymakers must find and appropriate combination of actions to change families' opinions of and the economics of female education. Adult literacy is low in many developing countries; of the 14 out of 40 countries with data, only 1 in 5 adult females can read. Gross enrollment has increased from 45% in 1965 to 70% in 1985; only 41% of total primary school enrollment was girls in 1985. There are great regional differences. The gender gap is dramatic in South Asia, the Middle East, North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa, e.g., in Bhutan girls school enrollment was 19% compared with 34% for boys in 1985, and in Pakistan 38% of girls vs 73% of boys. Differences were not as marked in Latin America and all East Asian countries. Dropout rates for girls are also higher than boys. Middle-income countries have experienced the greatest progress. The benefits of educating women are discussed in terms of the link with social and economic development. Families investment in girls education is low because the private returns are not large enough to balance the costs. Sons receive preference in many countries. Approaches to attracting more girls to schools are discussed: building schools is not enough; demand for girls education must occur. New ways of engaging rural students are being tried. Culturally appropriate facilities also boost enrollment. The best method is training and placing teachers close to home. Financial incentives and lower opportunity costs attract more girls to school. National media campaigns to raise awareness are effective. Limited resources and rapid population growth demand a realignment of priorities.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1992. 36 p.This atlas presents social, economic, and environmental statistics for 200 economies throughout the world, including statistics for 15 economies throughout the world, including statistics for 15 economies of the former Soviet Union. The following social/demographic indices are presented: population growth rate, 1980-1991; under-5 mortality rate, 1991; daily calorie supply/capita, 1989; illiteracy rate, 1990; and female labor force, 1991. GNP/capita, 1991; GNP/capita growth rate, 1980-91; and shares of agriculture, exports, and investment in GDP in 1991 comprise the economic data. Finally, GDP output/kilogram energy used, 1990; annual water use and annual water use/capita, 1970-87; forest coverage, 1989; and change in forest coverage, 1980-89, are presented as economic indicators. All figures are reported in color graphic format. Technical notes and World Bank structure and functions are discussed in closing sections. The text also cautions that the differing statistical systems and data collection methods and capabilities employed internationally demand that caution be taken against directly comparing statistical coverages and definitions.