Report on the World Social Situation 2011

The Global Social Crisis

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This report explores the social impact of the great recession and warns of the possibility of continuing global social crisis in the face of increasing fiscal consolidation and austerity measures, which threaten the sustainability of a recovery. The effects of the financial and economic crisis on social progress have been sharp, widespread, and deep. Given the fragility of the economic recovery and uneven progress in major economies, social conditions are expected to recover slowly. Increased poverty, hunger and unemployment due to the crisis will continue to affect billions of people in many developed and developing countries for years to come. Austerity measures in response to high government debt in some advanced economies are not only threatening public sector employment and social expenditure, but are also making the recovery more uncertain and fragile.



Incomes, poverty and well-being

The effects of the widespread job losses described in the preceding chapter have been hard on individuals and households, particularly in developing countries where there are no or scant social protection measures. The severe impacts of the global financial and economic crisis began to be felt at a time when budgets had already been squeezed by the earlier food and energy price crises. As a result, the progress that many countries had made in reducing poverty has been slowed and, in some cases, even reversed.


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