Archive for October 27, 2011

MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

October 27, 2011

MANAGING RISK FUELS PROSPERITY, AFRICA RE-TOOL!

 

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

 

African development stakeholders better go through a rethink of their development strategies and frameworks during the past decades. The challenge is for African experts and specialists to re-tool and configure new ‘best practices’ in aid of facilitating risk management as framework and strategy for achieving development goals.

 

The global framework is that of the Millenium Development Goal or MDG which most member countries of the UN committed to support and enact. The 2015 deadline nears, which makes it so tight a schedule to put into practice the emerging frameworks, strategies and tools. Chances are that the MDG goals may me achieved below the expected results or ‘barely passing rate’.

 

Below is a reportage about Africa’s poor nations’ chances to manage risks as a way to achieving the MDG.

 

[Philippines, 28 October 2011]

 

Support: http://www.beta.undp.org/undp/en/home/presscenter/pressreleases/2011/10/06/helping-africa-s-poor-to-manage-risks-key-to-region-s-progress-says-new-report-.html

 

Helping Africa’s poor to manage risks key to region’s progress, says new report

06 October 2011

New York — African countries should enhance the strength and resilience of their poor populations through targeted social safeguards, according to “Assessing Progress in Africa toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)”, a region-specific report released today.

This year’s annual report shows that such policies will help in the region’s steady progress on some of the MDGs, eight internationally-agreed targets to reduce poverty, hunger, maternal and child deaths, disease, gender inequality and environmental degradation by 2015.

In spite of this progress, recent food, fuel and financial crises, coupled with threats from climate change and the recent instability in North Africa are likely to affect the region’s MDG achievement.

“We urge policy-makers to recalibrate their social protection programs, so that they are perceived not as handouts but rather as measures to strengthen productive assets,” said the authors of the foreword to the report.

According to the report, national schemes, such as pensions, safety nets and school feeding programmes, can impact positively on several MDGs by addressing the immediate needs of the most vulnerable, providing them with labor market skills and safeguards against relapses into poverty.

The document lays out a number of success stories in the area of policy, including Algeria’s social protection scheme that contributed to reducing unemployment from 30 to 10 percent between 2000 and 2009, and Ethiopia’s 2005-2008 public works projects that led to construction of nearly 4,500 rural classrooms and improved food security for 7.8 million citizens.

Ghana’s National Health Insurance Scheme, covering 67 percent of the population, cut out-of-pocket expenditure for health by 50 percent. In Malawi, agricultural subsidies and outreach services resulted in an increase in the number of food-secure households, from 67 to 99 percent between 2005 and 2009.

Such schemes provide immediate protection for the poor while also making a longer term contribution to creating dynamic economies and more resilient societies, according to the report published by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Union Commission (AUC).

Tracking MDGs

Thanks to policy innovations and social protection schemes, Africa has made steady progress on a number of targets. For example, it increased primary school enrolment rates from 65 to 83 percent between 1999 and 2008.

In addition, 80 percent of the 36 African countries that have data for 1990 to 2010 increased the number of women in parliament during that period; and HIV/AIDS prevalence rates have dropped from just under six percent in 2001 to five percent in 2009.

However, while all regions of the world made progress on reducing maternal mortality, Africa faces a formidable task on this indicator, with several countries showing averages of 1,000 deaths per 100,000.

In addition, although the population with access to safe drinking water increased from 56 to 65 percent between 1990 and 2008, the rate of progress is insufficient for the continent to reach the 2015 MDG target of reducing by half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water.

Progress on some of the MDGs may have stalled or been reversed by the impact of the global economic crisis on Sub-Saharan Africa where the proportion of those earning less than US$1.25 a day decreased from 67 to 58 percent between 1998 and 2008.

More than 20 percent of young people in North Africa, for example, remained unemployed in 2008, while more than 75 percent of the labor force in Sub-Saharan Africa had vulnerable jobs in 2009.

In addition to carefully targeted and fiscally sound social safeguards, the report says more attention should be focused on designing strategies that promote job-rich growth and increase agricultural productivity.

To access the report, please visit http://www.undp.org/africa/mdg/

Contact Information

Ethiopia:

UNECA – Yinka Adeyemi, Tel: +251-11-5443537, yadeyemi@uneca.org,

AUC – Noureddine Mezni, Mobile: +251911511723

NewYork: UNDP – NicolasDouillet, +1.212.906.5937, nicolas.douillet@undp.org

Tunisia: AfDB – Pénélope Pontet deFouquières, +216 71 10 12 50, p.pontetdefouquieres@afdb.org

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WHATS’ UPDATE ABOUT AMERICA’S HEALTHCARE?

October 27, 2011

WHATS’ UPDATE ABOUT AMERICA’S HEALTHCARE?

Erle Frayne D. Argonza

What’s up with Uncle Sam’s healthcare policy at this juncture? I already touched on the subject in a previous article a couple of years ago. At that time I already observed the systematic exclusion of poor folks in America from healthcare, which is reminiscent of ultra-Right political contexts in the 19th and 20th centuries yet.

60 Millions of Americans don’t have access to healthcare. Maybe the figure doesn’t include the undocumented migrants who number by the millions too. In Hitler’s Germany, the weaklings health-wise were simply gunned down, as we can only surmise about how many hundreds of thousands were terminated in pursuit of the exclusionary policy.

I just had an internet chat with a former student of mine (UP Manila) who is currently taking up her health administration doctorate in the USA. She gave me a harrow report of neo-Nazi rise there as unemployment is now up at 9.7% and is still moving up. She also lamented about the old spoils of entitlements to healthcare that just don’t fit the emerging context. Likewise did she update me about the economic downspin that is now taking place that could lead to the next Great Depression.

Truly tragic has been the result of how many decades of predatory finance wreaking havoc on America via a Virtual Economy frame that was fueled by oligarchic maneuverings using the Reaganomics policy architecture. Getting back the Physical Economy frame, which supports a healthy healthcare policy environment, seems wishful thinking now, as degenerative forces are at work to collapse back both the USA and Europe into miserable 3rd World economies in the foreseeable future.

Below is an update report about healthcare debates in America.

[Philippines, 27 October 2011]

Source: http://www.devex.com/en/articles/u-s-democratic-house-member-slams-proposed-aid-cuts-for-family-planning-reproductive-health-2?source=ArticleHomepage_Center_1

US Democratic House Member Slams Proposed Aid Cuts for Family Planning, Reproductive Health
By Che de los Reyes on 10 October 2011
The significant budget cuts for global family planning and reproductive health programs being proposed by Republican legislators in the U.S. House of Representatives will mean more unintended pregnancies, more maternal deaths, more children who lose their mothers during childbirth and more abortions, a Democratic House member said.
Rep. Nita M. Lowey (D-N.Y.) argues U.S. foreign assistance for international family planning and reproductive health services provide benefits that are “tangible, cost-effective, life-saving, and critical for both the U.S. and aid recipients.” This is the reason she increased funding for international family planning and reproductive health when she was chair of the Appropriations State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee, she says. In fiscal 2010, $648 million was allocated for such programs.
For 2011, however, the Republican majority in the House originally proposed to reduce overall funding for international family planning to $440 million and ban U.S. funding for the United Nations Population Fund — the largest multilateral family planning and reproductive health provider in the world.
While the ban on U.S. funding for UNFPA was eventually taken off the proposal, and reductions to overall funding for international family planning was set to just 5 percent, significant cuts are being proposed anew for 2012. This includes a 25-percent cut to family planning and reproductive health programs and limitations such as the Global Gag Rule and ban on UNFPA funding.
“With the global population expected to surpass seven billion,” Lowey says, “We can only expect that the number of women with unmet need for family planning services, now an estimated 215 million women globally, will only increase. And unfortunately, so will the health disparities and instability that can result from allowing those needs to go unmet if Congress and the administration do not make this program a priority.”
Read more:
• House Panel Moves to Cut US Contributions to UN Population Fund

Read more on U.S. aid reform online, and subscribe to The Development Newswire to receive top international development headlines from the world’s leading donors, news sources and opinion leaders — emailed to you FREE every business day.
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