United Nations Series on Development

English
ISSN: 
2048-2612 (online)
http://dx.doi.org/10.18356/660a3914-en
Hide / Show Abstract

The UN Series on Development presents work undertaken by staff of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, in particular the Development Policy and Analysis Division, in the course of their research.

 
Financing Human Development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

Financing Human Development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East You do not have access to this content

English
Click to Access: 
    http://oecd.metastore.ingenta.com/content/324d850a-en.pdf
  • PDF
  • http://www.keepeek.com/Digital-Asset-Management/oecd/economic-and-social-development/financing-human-development-in-africa-asia-and-the-middle-east_324d850a-en
  • READ
Author(s):
UN
26 Nov 2013
Pages:
327
ISBN:
9781780935607 (PDF)
http://dx.doi.org/10.18356/324d850a-en

Hide / Show Abstract

This book assesses feasible financing strategies for policymakers to follow in pursuance of human development, taking as reference the United Nations' Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their achievement by 2015. These strategies are analyzed in the context of broader concerns of economic development with special reference to nine countries from Africa, Asia and the Middle East; that is, how to make macroeconomic policies support more effectively sustained growth while reducing widespread poverty and inequalities and other human development gaps in low- and middle-income countries, especially in times of global economic crises or external shocks. In this sense, this book adds new evidence regarding the social deficits in these countries and suggests policy options to overcome them.
loader image

Expand / Collapse Hide / Show all Abstracts Table of Contents

  • Mark Click to Access
  • Summary
    This book assesses feasible financing strategies for policymakers to follow in pursuance of human development, taking as reference the United Nations’ Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and their achievement by 2015. The contributors to this book analyze these strategies in the context of broader concerns of economic development with special reference to nine countries from Africa, Asia and the Middle East; that is, how to make macroeconomic policies support more effectively sustained growth while reducing widespread poverty and inequalities and other human development gaps in low- and middle-income countries, especially in times of global economic crises or external shocks. For Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa, in particular, recent political turmoil is posing new challenges for human development and social stability. In this sense, this book adds new evidence regarding the social deficits in these countries and suggests policy options to overcome these.
  • Preface
    Over the years, the Development Policy and Analysis Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations (UNDESA) has coordinated a number of comparative studies in the context of a number of projects aiming to strengthen the policy analysis capacity in developing countries.1 Part of the work related to these projects involved the adaptation of a model-based toolkit to serve the policy needs in each country. The toolkit allows the assessment of the macroeconomic policy implications of development strategies oriented at the achievement of the internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The MDGs comprise a set of basic human development objectives related to poverty reduction, universal primary education, maternal and child health, communicable disease control and access to water and basic sanitation. While much progress has been made on these fronts, large shortfalls remain in many countries, requiring major policy efforts. Those efforts are not restricted to the social policy arena, but involve the entire economy. Most poverty reduction efforts run through production, employment, wages and prices. Expansion of social services in education, health and basic sanitation require additional spending efforts that may strain public and private budgets. Adjustments in taxes and public and private credit demand to finance those spending needs, in turn, will have repercussions throughout the economy. Better education and health outcomes are expected to yield, over time, positive spinoffs on productivity and incomes. For these reasons, the capacity development projects have deployed economy-wide modelling tools to aid policymakers in assessing this complex set of interactions and the macroeconomic feasibility of achieving the MDGs in their specific country context.
  • About the editors
  • Financing human development: A comparative analysis
    Aware of enormous human development deficits, all member states of the United Nations resolved to pursue achievement of the millennium development goals (MDGs) in 2000. Concrete targets were set, and to be met by 2015, for a future of less poverty, hunger and disease, better education, gender equality, greater prospects of survival for infants and mothers, and a more sustainable environment. Much progress has been made since 2000, but it has been uneven across and within countries (United Nations, 2012). Sustained and robust economic growth, particularly in Asia, has been a major factor in meeting the global target of halving income poverty by the end of the 2000s. Nonetheless, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger has not declined, and still nearly one in five children under the age of five in the developing world are undernourished. Improvements in primary school enrolment have slowed during the past decade and the target of universal access to primary education is unlikely to be met in many countries without additional policy efforts. Gender gaps in access to education have narrowed, but girls remain at important disadvantage in many developing countries, especially in Oceania, Africa and West and South Asia. Significant gains in assisted child delivery and coverage of vaccination programmes and intensive control efforts for major diseases have contributed to declining child and maternal mortality worldwide, but in many countries, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, rates are still very high and meeting the internationally agreed targets by 2015 will be most challenging.
  • Egypt
    Prior to the Lotus Revolution in 2011, Egypt was one of the few countries in the Arab region that seemed to be on track to achieve most of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Progress made in the 1990s reflected Egypt’s relatively stable socio-economic situation despite significant structural problems beneath the surface. Indeed, human development goals have been central to the aspirations expressed by the Egyptian people during and in the aftermath of the Revolution.
  • Kyrgyz Republic
    The Kyrgyz Republic (or Kyrgyzstan) is making progress towards the millennium development goals (MDGs) and is on track to achieve the first goal of halving extreme poverty between 2001 and 2015. For other important human development goals, however, the targets are likely to be missed, due to resource constraints and limited policy implementation capacity. There have also been setbacks owing to problems of governance and political instability that impeded effective policymaking during parts of the 2000s. As a consequence, finding a realistic pathway to achieve all MDGs remains a challenge.
  • Philippines
    The Philippines has progressed well towards the achievement of several of the millennium development goals (MDGs). Since 1990, considerable headway has been made towards the eradication of extreme poverty, reductions in child mortality, and improvements in household potable water and sanitation. However, the challenges remain formidable. In the 2000s there was an increase in poverty incidence, delaying the achievement of the goal for extreme poverty (MDG 1) and worsening prospects for a significant reduction in moderate poverty. Likewise, the goals for primary education, as well as for maternal and reproductive health, remain elusive.
  • Senegal
    Senegal faces daunting policy challenges if it is to meet the millennium development goals (MDGs). The country’s economic and social developments to a large extent resemble those of other West African economies. In the 1970s, GDP growth closely tracked the average for all sub-Saharan African countries. Growth started to decelerate progressively in 1979 due to a sharp deterioration of the countries’ terms of trade. The depreciation of the dollar against the French franc, to which the Senegalese CFA franc is pegged under a fixed exchange rate regime, significantly reduced the competitiveness of Senegal’s exports. The world market prices for groundnut oil and phosphates, the two main export products, also declined steadily, widening the trade deficit and narrowing foreign reserves. High wages (in both the public and the private sector) and taxation, and other distortions in the business environment also affected the competitiveness of the private sector. The monetary situation rapidly worsened as a result of capital flight and the monetization of deficits. It was only through the relaxation of fiscal discipline that the government was able to better contain the social and political tensions. The vicious circle that stalled the Senegalese economy was halted in January 1994 with the nominal devaluation of the CFA franc. This marked the beginning of a second period in Senegal’s economic and social development.
  • South Africa
    After successful free elections in April 1994, South Africa was readmitted to the international community, following years of international isolation imposed on the country due to its racially motivated apartheid policies. Since then, trade liberalization has been accompanied by responsible monetary and fiscal management, and South Africa has continuously recorded moderate economic growth. Inflation has been within target, and the budget deficit has been falling in recent years. The government has also channelled an important amount of resources to social programs and services. Yet despite bold policy changes, the economy has failed to grow in sufficient amounts to make inroads into high unemployment and poverty (Hoogeveen and Özler, 2005).
  • Tunisia
    Tunisia has had one of the fastest growing economies in North Africa and the Middle East (MENA) since the 1990s. By 2010, gross national income per capita had increased to $4,070, three times more than thirty years ago. Economic growth was driven by labour-intensive and export-oriented manufacturing activities, creating jobs for low and semi-skilled workers, including many females. Economic diversification, along with high inflows of workers? remittances, underpinned domestic demand growth.
  • Uganda
    The Ugandan economy underwent major structural change over the past two decades. Growth of income per capita began to accelerate in the late 1980s and has since outpaced that of most countries in Africa. Uganda’s post-war macroeconomic reform programme exceeded all expectations in supporting economic growth and poverty reduction, as compared with other post-conflict recoveries. These reforms have reduced barriers to trade and liberalised prices and markets previously subject to state control. Improved management of monetary and fiscal policy helped achieve macroeconomic stability and paved the way for debt relief under the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative.
  • Uzbekistan
    The government of the Republic of Uzbekistan’s commitment to the millennium development goals (MDGs) is a priority of the national development strategy. Goals include halving poverty and the number of underweight children under five between 2000 and 2015. The goal to achieve universal primary education has already been achieved when measured in terms of net enrolment. However, improving the quality of education remains an important challenge. A number of laws and national programmes have been adopted to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment. The country has made tangible progress toward reducing child and maternal mortality, though current trends suggest that the targets would be met only through additional policy efforts and resources targeted to healthcare. Measures taken to protect the environment and to ensure the rational use of natural resources are expected to secure tangible results, reversing environmental damage. Access to safe drinking water and sewage system connections has notably improved for urban and rural households and the 2015 targets are likely to be met.
  • Yemen
    Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the Arab region with a per capita GDP of $1,160 for 2008 (World Bank, 2010) and faces a wide range of developmental challenges, amplified in 2011 by deepened domestic conflict. In 2007, the country was ranked 140 out of 182 according to the Human Development Index (United Nations Development Program, 2009). Ever since reunification in 1990, Yemen’s position on the HDI index has remained more or less unchanged, with very slow progress towards attaining the millennium development goals (MDGs). At 3 per cent, the country has one of the highest population growth rates globally, with the population expected to double in 23 years to around 40 million. This increases the demand for educational and health services, drinking water and employment opportunities. Even now, Yemen faces a severe water shortage, with available ground water being depleted at an alarming rate. Its oil production and reserves are declining with severe budgetary consequences. The Yemeni economy is caught in a jobless slow growth cycle leading to stagnant per capita incomes and rising levels of unemployment, particularly among youth. Unless resolved promptly, the political crisis that erupted in 2011 threatens to make Yemen’s prospects for rapid growth and progress on MDGs even bleaker.
  • Add to Marked List