Financing Human Development in Africa, Asia and the Middle East

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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.




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.


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