Tag Archives: Poverty

PAKISTAN: Reinventing microfinance

Source: Microfinance Focus

"Although microfinance has made some gains in alleviating poverty in Pakistan, the amount invested lies in danger of being spent on daily items owing to extreme poverty. What in fact is required is the provision of certain services that may enable an individual to become a self-earner. So the first and foremost thing in this regard is not to simply extend credit but to provide raw materials along with skills.

What could further be added is the provision of health and education facilities to the community so that each individual keeps on learning during this process. By adopting this method, microfinance becomes a well-organized business as well as a community service and the incidence of default is reduced."

Full article: http://www.microfinancefocus.com/news/2010/02/03/opinion-reinventing-microfinance-in-pakistan/

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First, Reform the I.M.F.

Published: April 24, 2009

The International Monetary Fund turns 65 this year. Until the current economic crisis, it had reduced its workload drastically to a near-retirement level — its total loan portfolio plummeted by 92 percent in four years. But like many senior citizens, the Fund has kept working past retirement age — and is now expanding its responsibilities.

The I.M.F. has a track record that seems to have been almost completely ignored in discussions of a proposed $750 billion increase in its resources. Nearly 12 years ago, a financial crisis hit Thailand, South Korea, Indonesia, the Philippines and Malaysia. The word “contagion” became part of the financial reporting lexicon as the crisis spread to Russia, Brazil, Argentina and other countries. Continue reading

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World Bank: Globe bracing for more poverty

By DEB RIECHMANN –

WASHINGTON (AP) — The global economic crisis has stymied the international community’s effort to halve extreme poverty by 2015 and meet other goals to reduce hunger, fight disease and get young children to school, the World Bank warned on Friday.

A report released in conjunction with this week’s meeting of the bank and International Monetary Fund in Washington said the financial meltdown is impeding efforts to achieve most of the eight U.N. millennium development goals. Although it still may be possible to reach the first goal — halving extreme poverty by 2015 from its 1990 level — it will be an uphill battle, according to “The Global Monitoring Report 2009: A Development Emergency.” Continue reading

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INDIA: Why is the eradication of malnutrition a mission impossible?

A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission

The success of the first phase of Chandrayann-1, undertaken on Tuesday, 21 October 2008, entitles India to claim membership in the elite club of countries that have proved their technological and financial capabilities in sending a mission to the moon.  According to the Indian government, the project that is estimated to have cost 78 million USD stands as proof of India’s scientific advancement and financial standing. Among other studies to be carried out, Chandrayaan-1 will put a probe on the moon’s surface to explore the possibility of the presence of water there.

India’s mission to the moon is not merely the culmination of the dreams of a few individuals. Persons ranging from the former President of India, Dr. Abdul Kalam, an accomplished scientist, to politicians and millions of ordinary Indians have dreamt about it. A successful moon mission will be a true acknowledgment of expectations that will satisfy the dreams of many citizens.  It will be the proof that when India has the will, it can deliver. Continue reading

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Rich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food supply

Small farmers at risk from industrial-scale deals

Julian Borger, diplomatic editor, The Guardian, Saturday November 22 2008

Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies. The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, has warned that the controversial rise in land deals could create a form of “neo-colonialism”, with poor states producing food for the rich at the expense of their own hungry people. Rising food prices have already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar. Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports. Continue reading

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Pakistan: IMF Programme needs to be debated

Raza Rumi’s oped published in the NEWS (Pakistan)

The not-so-inevitable is about to happen. After weeks of groping in the darkness of global financial mess, the Pakistani government is negotiating with the International Monetary Fund. Admittedly, Pakistan’s options are limited, given its intractable dependence on oil imports for survival. The civilian government moving from one crisis to another has elevated indecision to a policy status. This does not imply that we start echoing the unwise cacophony of impatience with an elected and far more legitimate government than the eight-year-long authoritarian regime. But then who cares: if recent history is a guide, PPP governments come with a brand or at least get branded as incompetent comprising coteries of cronies, as if the rest of the country is a fair, rule-based haven.

The plain truth is that the power-wielders of Pakistan have been following a set of disastrous policies for decades that have now put the survival of the state, or as we knew it, in question. From the great hunts for strategic depth and Jihad, and from nurturing domestic oligarchies and pampering a delinquent industrial sector at the expense of land tillers and equitable irrigation, we are now paying the price for policy making by the elites for the sustenance of the elites. Continue reading

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1.4 billion are still very poor

The World Bank’s has published new poverty figures and revisited the $1 poverty line and set a $1.25 poverty line according to 2005 prices.

On the basis of the new poverty line, 1.4 billion very poor people live in this world, of which 337 million live in East Asia and 596 million in South Asia. The Asian continent is the home for more than two thirds of the World’s poor.

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