The State of the World's Children 1994
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The 1994 State of the World's Children report looks at recent progress in health, nutrition, and education in the context of the broader problems of poverty, population growth, and environmental deterioration--the "PPE spiral." Its central message is that a renewed effort to overcome the worst remaining aspects of mass poverty--disease, malnutrition, disability, illiteracy--is essential as a prerequisite to successfully managing the transition to a sustainable human future.
Remarkable progress has been made over the last decade against many of the major specific threats to the health and nutrition of children in the world's poorest communities. For example, child deaths from measles have been cut from 2.5 million a year in the early 1980s to about 1 million today; the toll of diarrhoeal disease is down from 4 million to less than 3 million a year; whooping cough victims have fallen from 700,000 to 400,000; and the number of infants killed by tetanus has been reduced from 1 million a year to just over half a million. After examining these great strides among peoples of the developing world, the 1994 report argues that it is now possible to bring some of the most basic benefits of progress, such as confronting iodine deficiency by iodizing all salt supplies, to all communities in the years immediately ahead. But both past progress and present potential are threatened by the mutually reinforcing relationships between the worst effects of absolute poverty, the continuation of rapid population growth, and the degradation of rural and urban environments throughout the developing world. These problems have accumulated through massive neglect in the cold war period, and coping with them should become the central organizing principal of the post-cold war era.
Action in many different fields will be necessary if this challenge is to be met. Fulfilling the essential needs of the developing world for adequate nutrition, safe water, basic health care, education for women and children, and family planning is one of the most immediately available and affordable ways of weakening the grip of the PPE problem. Healthier, better educated people are more likely to bring about economic progress; reduced illness and death among children can slow population growth by giving parents the confidence to use family planning; and education and a minimum of prosperity are essential if environmental problems are to be contained and if poor people, too, are to have a stake in the future.
The cost of making such an investment in the 1990s would amount to not much more than one tenth of one percent of the world's annual economic product. It is a rare bargain. And one that the world cannot afford to miss.
Über den Autor:
James P. Grant is Executive Director of UNICEF.
Titel: The State of the World's Children 1994
Verlag: Oxford University Press
Zustand: Very Good
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