Monday, 16 February 2009

"The Poverty Lens"

The World Bank has warned as a result of the global economic slump that up to 53 million people will be driven like a heard of cattle into the corral of poverty, and up to 400,000 more children could die each year as a result of rising infant mortality, a catastrophe being caused by the deepening crisis.

Lower economic growth rates will force 53 million more people to exist on less than $2 this is on top of the 130-155 million people pushed into poverty during 2008 because of soaring food and fuel prices. Preliminary estimates for 2009 to 2015 forecasts that an average 200,000 to 400,000 more children a year, a total of 1.4 to 2.8 million over the six-year period, may die if the crisis persists.
In addition, millions of people already living in poverty "will be pushed further below the poverty line," according to the World Bank policy note, “The Global Economic Crisis: Assessing Vulnerability with a Poverty Lens."
The note states: "Almost all developed and developing countries are suffering from the global economic crisis. While developed countries are experiencing some of the sharpest contractions, households in developing countries are much more vulnerable and likely to experience acute negative consequences in the short- and long-term."
Almost 40 percent of 107 developing countries are "highly exposed" to the poverty and hardship effects of the crisis and the remainder are "moderately exposed," according to the report. The bank warns that three quarters of these countries will be unable to raise funds domestically or internationally to finance job-creation, the delivery of basic infrastructure and essential services—including health, education and core public administration—and safety net programs for the vulnerable.

The statistics provide only a pale outline of the impoverishment, malnutrition and misery caused by the global recession. These outcomes are an indictment of the anarchy of the private profit system. First, the speculative escalation of food and fuel prices of 2007-08 threw up to 155 million people into poverty; and now the financial crash is threatening many millions more.

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