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UN Relief and Development

UN Relief and DevelopmentHuman Development is measured by the Human Development Index (HDI) which is a composite index that includes indicators for Health, Education and Income. As such, HDI is used to measure the satisfaction of essential human needs and choices. Poverty in developing countries is a major challenge to development. Investments in human resources are critical elements to alleviate poverty. Better health and nutrition raise labor productivity and improve the performance of students. Studies by the World Bank show that education, particularly at the primary level, has high rates of return on productivity and income. View Link…

Inadequacies in human resources are often thought to be a manifestation of poverty. Malnutrition and poor health, for example, were cited by several researchers as being primarily due to inadequate income. UNICEF maintained that structural adjustment programs can have a negative impact on the poor and the most vulnerable segments of society. View Link… Increasingly more attention is being given to that possibility by the World Bank and other international donor organizations.

There is enough evidence to suggest that there are significant correlations and cause-effect relationships between human resources and development on the one hand; and poverty and the need for relief on the other hand. Furthermore, there are interactions among investments in various aspects of human resources development, with research evidence indicating that education in particular widely improves the results of investments in all human resources development aspects.

The cyclical relationship between poverty and the need for relief on the one hand and, the low rates of development and inferior human resources characteristics on the other hand; does not necessarily lend itself to any anti-structural adjustment arguments or to such arguments that aid and relief create more dependency, lower rates of production, more poverty, and yet more need for aid and relief.

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However, a delicate balance is vital, whereby aid and relief are provided where and when needed at the same time striving to enhance the quality of the human resources through better health and education in order to be more productive and to stimulate local socioeconomic development. The ultimate objective of relief should be to help the poor help themselves, not to get the poor hooked on more aid and more relief.

M. Alaadin A. Morsy

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2 thoughts on “UN Relief and Development”

  1. HDI is of course one of an accepted indicators to measure socio-economic progress of a country. However, this is not sufficient.  In fact, there are several other equally important indicators – happiness index; prosperity index; corruption index; human rights index; pollution index; crime index; religious tolerance index; democracy index; etc – to analyse and understand the quality of life inside out. For example, Bhutan (a tiny kingdom turned into constitutional democracy) may be seen most happy place on earth to live in; maybe OK for Bhutanese. A foreigner taking up residence in Bhutan would probably find out that it can at best be ONLY  a holiday location for a short time!
    Notwithstanding the natural conditions over which we have little control, the real quality of life depends on the kind of national environment compact that assures freedom of choice, equal and  plenty of opportunities to progress of self and fellow-citizens, in all the areas – physical, mental, emotional, psychological and environmental.  Jai Ho!

     

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