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Journal of the American Water Resources Association. 2000 Aug; 36(4):799-809.Drinking of arsenic-contaminated tubewell water has become a serious health threat in Bangladesh. Arsenic contaminated tubewells are believed to be responsible for poisoning nearly two-thirds of this country's population. If proper actions are not taken immediately, many people in Bangladesh will die from arsenic poisoning in just a few years. Causes and consequences of arsenic poisoning, the extent of area affected by it, and local knowledge and beliefs about the arsenic problem - including solutions and international responses to the problem - are analyzed. Although no one knows precisely how the arsenic is released into the ground water, several contradictory theories exist to account for its release. Initial symptoms of the poisoning consist of a dryness and throat constriction, difficulty in swallowing, and acute epigastric pain. Long-term exposure leads to skin, lung, or bladder cancer. Both government and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) in Bangladesh, foreign governments, and international agencies are now involved in mitigating the effects of the arsenic poisoning, as well as developing cost-effective remedial measures that are affordable by the rural people. (author's)
Bulletin Économique et Social du Maroc. 2000; (159):21-24.According to the 1998 World Human Development Report (HDR), Morocco ranks 125th with a human development indicator (HDI) of 0.557 points. The indicator elements pertaining to life expectancy, adult literacy and schooling levels remain unchanged in the HDI, but the revenue indicator has improved. These important changes have armed this HDI with a more solid methodological base. With an average per capita revenue of 3,310 dollars (PPP), Morocco finds itself in the revenue segment that has undergone the most significant revision of the standardized value. In effect, although it is not found among the principal Arab countries which have successfully reduced deficits in terms of human development during the last two decades, Morocco has, however, successfully reduced them by 27%. The progress made by this country in terms of human development in the last decade can be seen in the struggle against poverty and is reinforced and consolidated by the commitment of the Head of State for the purpose of improving the living conditions of the poor. The struggle against poverty constitutes the fundamental goal of the UNDP, around which are centered most of the programs and projects whose implementation should contribute to promoting the necessary environment for poverty reduction and consequently, to improved human development. The strategy chosen for the UNDP's intervention is broken into two parts: one is to support strategies and policies in the struggle against poverty, and the other lies in local initiatives for validating these same policies. It targets the socio-geographic aspect of action, on the one hand, benefiting the most vulnerable social groups such as women, children, and girls in the poorest areas, and on the other hand, is directed at those geographic areas that are the most ill-favored in the rural world as well as urban outskirts. The process of integrating Morocco into a free trade zone with the European Union has required the implementation of reforms at the legal and institutional level to manage ever stiffer competition in the world market.