Groundbreaking events are adding to the list of things pushing up food prices. Erratic weather in key grain exporting countries, the increasing crop use for biofuel production, export restrictions, and low global stocks, have been key contributors to the spike. Now, it is also linked to surging fuel prices connected to events in the Middle East and North Africa.
For the 600 million people living in fragile and conflict affected economies, the threat of relapsing into violence and slipping into deeper poverty is a reality they must face every day. Believe it or not, poverty rates average 54% in fragile and postconflict economies, compared with 22% for low-income countries as a whole. Weak institutions and a lack of local capacity further undermine the delivery of core services, such as security, rule of law, and other public goods.
So what happens when the fighting stops and the reconstruction begins? What happens to local capacity in countries where qualified civil servants have either fled to escape the conflict or were killed during it? A new study on public financial management reforms, produced by the World Bank’s fragile states and public sector governance units, shows that progress is possible even in such difficult circumstances.
South Asia has been one of the world’s success stories in terms of rapid economic growth. With India leading the way, South Asia’s poverty rate has fallen from 60 percent in 1981 to 40 percent in 2005. However, during the same period, the number of poor people—those living on less than $1.25 per day—actually increased from 549 million to 595 million over the same period.
2008 is so last decade. And yet, the recent hike in food prices is bringing food costs near the dangerous levels of that year, creating enormous vulnerabilities in developing countries.
Development is about welfare enhancing transformation through economic, social, political, and technological progress. Transformation is predicated on per capita income growth but development is also about progress in reduction of poverty and inequality, individual capabilities, access to social services, and quality of life. Both growth and development are also predicated on distributive politics of how a society is able to deal with vested interests and social conflicts.
During past sixty years, growth spurts have occurred in most countries but generally outcomes have fallen short of expectations. Developed economies have averaged growth rates of 2.4 percent during 1990 and 2008 while developing economies have collectively increased their GDP by an average of 4.7 percent over the same period. For low and middle income countries, physical capital is the
Even in normal economic times, the poor as a group do not affect public policy. Why then would it be different during a financial crisis, when saving the elites and saving the ‘financial world’ is of paramount importance?
(Thanks and credits for sharing this information go to the Brazilian Secretariat of Social Communication - SECOM)
Social development and progress continue to stay strong in Brazil:
- Brazil tops global ranking in fight against hunger: In a recent report published by anti-poverty NGO ActionAid, Brazil ranks first among developing countries for its progress in the fight against hunger.
- Brazil’s “Bolsa Familia” income transfer program raises literacy rates: Newly released data reveals that half a million beneficiaries of Brazil’s cash transfer program became literate in 2006 and 2007, and the number of people registered for public literacy programs increased by 12 percent.
With one of the world’s largest populations, Brazil’s government has invested heavily in programs to eliminate poverty and hunger and improve access to services and opportunities in low-income communities. These efforts and their success to date earned Brazil’s President Lula UNESCO’s prestigious Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize in July, and Brazil’s Minister of Social Development the World Future Council’s Future Policy Award just a few weeks ago.
Detailed information can be found below.
This is a summary of materials available from ILO and World Bank.
The financial and economic crises of 2008 had gender-specific impacts and placed a disproportionate burden on women, in particular poor, migrant and minority women. Even though both women and men are affected by job losses, women are often laid off first, as men are traditionally considered to be the main “breadwinners”. Some of the implications of the global financial and economic crisis on women are:
The World Development Indicators is the World Bank's premier annual compilation of data about development. The 2009 WDI includes more than 800 indicators in over 90 tables organized in 6 sections: World View, People, Environment, Economy, States and Markets, and Global Links.
The Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) has recently publish the 2008 edition of its Statistical Yearbook, which contains social, economic and environmental data from the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean, including a section on Poverty.