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Financing Human Development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

image of Financing Human Development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East
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.

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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.

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