Tag: developing countries

“10 million children die each year from preventable, poverty-related diseases; there are 1.4 billion people in the world surviving on less than $1.25 a day; and more than 70 million primary school-age children are out of school”. The Millennium Development Goals were targets set by the developed world to try to improve this situation by 2015. However, although world leaders met in September 2008 to renew their commitments to meeting these goals, the financial crisis has drawn attention away from these issues and focused most governments on narrower, domestic goals.

Women are key to fighting poverty BBC News Online (23/9/08)
A stagnant promise Guardian (24/9/08)

Questions

  1. Summarise the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the progress that has been achieved towards meeting them.
  2. Assess the policies that have been adopted by developed countries to try to achieve the MDGs. Are they the most appropriate way to achieve these ends?
  3. Discuss whether the financial crisis has made it more difficult to achieve the targets set out by the MDGs.

A recent report from the World Bank has suggested that developing countries need to grow significantly if they are to avoid high levels of poverty. The report suggested that without rapid and sustained growth up to 4 billion people could be living in abject poverty by 2050.

‘Choose growth or accept poverty for billions’ Guardian (22/5/08)
The Doha dilemma The Economist (29/5/08)

Questions

1. Summarise the main findings of the World Bank report.
2. Is rapid economic growth (a) a necessary condition and/or (b) a sufficient condition for alleviating poverty in developing countries.
3. Evaluate two policies that a developing country could adopt to raise levels of economic growth.

Global food prices have been rising significantly in recent months and this has led to food riots in a number of countries, rationing being reintroduced in Pakistan and price controls being introduced in Russia. What has caused these rapidly rising prices and to what extent will they slow the rate of economic development in the Third World?

UK farmers forced to ride income rollercoaster Guardian (26/2/08)
They’re going to need a lot more money to meet the same needs Guardian podcast (26/2/08)
Feed the world? We are fighting a losing battle, UN admits Guardian (26/2/08)
Record rise in fuel prices fuels inflation Guardian (12/2/08)
India’s farmers struggling to keep food on the table Times Online (29/2/08)

Questions

1. Using supply and demand diagrams as appropriate, illustrate the changes taking place recently in world food markets.
2. Assess the main factors affecting the level of farmers’ incomes in the UK .
3. Analyse the likely impact of rising world food prices on the rate of economic development in Third World countries.

At the turn of the century, the UN Development Programme identified a series of seven Millennium Development Goals (http://www.undp.org/mdg/). The article linked to below from the Guardian, considers the progress that has been made towards these goals. Urgent progress is required if the goals are to be met by the target date of 2015.

Poverty, hunger and disease: so much done yet so much left to do Guardian (10/12/07)

Questions

1. What are the seven Millennium Development Goals.
2. Discuss the action that is required if the goals are to be met by the target date of 2015.
3. Analyse the extent to which an increase in overseas aid will help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

The article below from the BBC website looks at the issue of microfinance – the provision of very small loans as a form of development assistance to help people in developing countries to support themselves and develop their businesses.

Small loans to women make big changes BBC News Online (21/8/07)

Questions

1. Explain what is meant by microfinancing.
2. Examine the reasons why microfinancing is considered more effective at promoting economic development (as opposed to economic growth).
3. Assess the extent to which microfinancing could help in other developing countries to promote economic development.