SOCIAL WATCH E-NEWSLETTER - Issue 59 - October 14, 2011

Issue 59 - October 14, 2011

A lost decade in the fight against poverty

Haitian children look for valuables
in a garbage dump in Port-au-Prince.
(Photo: Logan Abassi/UN)

The first decade of the 21st century was a lost decade in the fight against poverty, in spite of the excellent performance of the emerging economies, said Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, on the eve of the international days on hunger and poverty.

Social Watch, a network of citizen organizations monitoring social policies around the world, launched today a Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) derived from well-being indicators which shows very slow progress in the last twenty years. This index contradicts the assessment of the World Bank, according to which extreme poverty would have halved around the world between 1980 and 2005.
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Economic growth does not ensure human well-being

Protest in Wall St. last week.
(Photo: Matt McDermott/Flickr)

Far from improving the quality of life of the world population, increased trade and per capita income have not resulted in reduced poverty, according to the most recent Basic Capabilities Index (BCI) published by Social Watch, an international network of civil society organizations.
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The virtuous few: clean and dignified

Photo: BabyDinosaur/Flickr

What do Costa Rica, Uruguay and Georgia (the country in the Caucasus, not the American state) have in common? They all have achieved high positions in their social indicators while keeping their emissions of climate changing carbon dioxide at less than half of the global per capita average.
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The boom and the busted

“The hard numbers have proved that prosperity does not trickle down,” said Roberto Bissio, coordinator of Social Watch, at the launch of the Basic Capabilities Index computed by this non-governmental watchdog organization. “It used to be common sense that a growing economy benefits the poor, that a rising tide will lift all boats, big or small, or that the pie has to grow first before we can share it,” he added, but the figures published by Social Watch on the eve of the international days on hunger and poverty seem to show the opposite.
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Made possible thanks to the funding and support of the European Union and Oxfam Novib.
The international secretariat of Social Watch also receives funding and support from the Coalition of the Flemish North South Movement - 11.11.11.
The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of Social Watch and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union, Oxfam Novib and the Coalition of the Flemish North South Movement - 11.11.11.