Libmonster ID: U.S.-1224


Candidate of Economic Sciences


Candidate of Economic Sciences

With the achievement of a new post-industrial technological level and the global scale of the international division of labor by the "grandees" of the world economy at the end of the XX century, the struggle for poverty eradication was elevated to the rank of a priority of the entire international community as a necessary condition for the sustainable development of both national economies and the world economic system as a whole.

The Millennium Declaration, adopted at the UN Summit in September 2000, provides the most complete and authoritative view of the content of the fight against poverty. It sets out the goals of combating poverty for the period up to 2015-2020 - the "Millennium Development Goals" (MDG)1.

If the MDGs are achieved by 2015, 500 million people will be lifted out of poverty; more than 300 million will no longer suffer from hunger; 30 million children will not die before the age of 5; and the lives of more than 2 million mothers will be saved. In addition, the number of people with access to safe drinking water will increase by 350 million, and the number of people with access to basic sanitation facilities will increase by 650 million. 2

As part of the continent-wide New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD), African countries have specified these goals, focusing on accelerating economic development and expanding international assistance.


With the advent of the MDG program, discussions around the problem of poverty have flared up with renewed vigor. Judgments made by researchers, such as

Table 1

Millennium Development Goals




Task for 2015

1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
Number of people living on income

Sub-Saharan Africa (SES)



less than $ 1 (as a percentage of the total population)

North African Countries (NCA)



2. Achieving universal primary education




educational institutions (in %).




Primary education coverage




Literacy of the population (males from 1-5 to 24 years)




3. Achieving gender equality.




Female-male literacy ratio (15-24 years)




4. Reduce child mortality.




Indicator: mortality of children under 5 years of age per 1000 births




5. Improve maternal health.




Indicator: % of deliveries with the help of medical staff




6. Fight against malaria, tuberculosis,




AIDS and other masses, diseases.
Indicators: prevalence of HIV-infected adults (in %);


less than 0.1

growth rate

tuberculosis diseases (the number of patients per year)




100 thousand population, excluding HIV-infected people)



growth rate

7. Ensuring environmental sustainability.




Indicators: % of the territory covered by forest;




access to clean drinking water (in % of GDP)








access to modern sanitary facilities




services (in % of the population)








Sources: UNECA. Economic Report on Africa 2007: Accelerating Africa's Development through Diversification. Addis Ababa. 2007. Р. 54; Africa Partnership Forum (APF). The 7th Meeting of the APR Moscow, Russia. 26 - 27 October, 2006.

page 35

usually, they are ambiguous or contradictory. But everyone agrees that the problem of poverty is multi-faceted and multi-faceted and difficult to define in a single way.

Specific ideas about "poverty" are very diverse. From surveys conducted by the World Bank in more than 60 countries on all continents, covering approximately 40 thousand people, we learn that a " poor man from Kenya "associates his poverty with a leaky housing, bad utensils in his house and clothes that he is wearing, and a" poor woman from Egypt " complains that if she is not happy, she is not happy. if the husband gets sick, then life simply stops until he recovers.

In studies published under the auspices of the World Bank, the IMF, and UN agencies, the topic of poverty is usually considered in three aspects::

- as a situation of extreme deprivation;

- as a personal self-awareness of the poor of their social humiliation;

- as the task of the international community to promote the creation of conditions for overcoming poverty, raising the standard of living of the disadvantaged segments of the population to a living wage and providing them with access to basic health and educational services.

National poverty reduction programmes developed by African countries provide more pragmatic and substantive definitions of poverty. For example, the Burkina Faso programme emphasizes that the level of monetary income cannot be considered a sufficient indicator of poverty, but must take into account the level of education, morbidity, access to land ownership and employment.

The Mali programme identifies three forms of poverty: standard of living (food, education, health, housing, etc.); income levels that indicate insufficient consumption; and capacity poverty (access to land ownership, opportunities to acquire means of labor, obtain loans, work, etc.).

A similar definition of poverty, with individual variations depending on national specifics, is also present in the programs of all other African countries. Since they were developed under the close supervision of the World Bank, this definition of poverty can be considered officially recognized at the level of the international community.

As you know, in 1990 The World Bank has put forward a globally standardized indicator of the level of poverty in different countries. The absolute poverty line is defined as the per capita consumption of goods necessary for human survival in the range of $ 1 per day in prices and at purchasing power parity (PPP) in 1985. In 1993, this level was raised to $ 1.08 per day ($32.74). per month), but it is still formally designated as $ 1 per month.

S. Bhalla, an Indian scientist and former WB functionary, estimated that in 2000 the number of people living below the poverty line did not exceed 650 million, or 9.4% of the world's population and 13.1% of the population of developing countries.3 In this case, it turns out that the goal set out in the UN Millennium Development Goals - to reduce the proportion of the world's poor by half by 2015 compared to 1990 (from 29% to 14.5%) - was already achieved and exceeded by the time it was proclaimed.

The World Bank refutes Bhalla's calculations. At the same time, the World Bank has made adjustments, now predicting that by 2015, the share of extreme poverty in the world will not be 14.5, but 10.2% 4.

There is hardly any reason to accuse the World Bank of deliberately inflating the poverty level, but we cannot exclude a certain dramatization of the problem for pragmatic reasons and, above all, in order to expand international assistance programs for developing countries.

In any case, African countries have had a dramatically difficult start in the fight against poverty and MDG implementation (see table 1).

The gap between North Africa and sub-Saharan Africa is striking. A closer look at the current state of affairs reveals significant differences between sub-regions as well. The population of countries where people living on less than $ 1 a day account for about 20% (and there are only 10 such countries for which data are available) exceeds 230 million people, or about 25% of the continent's population, and in countries where the proportion of poor people is in the range of 20 to 50% (13 countries), reaches 215 million. The vast majority of the population in this category lives in West Africa5.


Economic growth, according to World Bank experts, can only be achieved by providing assistance to African countries, which is also designed to facilitate their implementation of social reforms. Major donors from African countries have made significant efforts in this area, as shown in table 2.

In 2005, the Group of Eight agreed to almost double ODA from $ 29 billion in 2004 to $ 54 billion in 2010 (at constant 2004 prices). In 2007 prices and exchange rates, this amount is about $ 62 billion. However, the United Nations MDG Steering Group for Africa (established in 2007) estimates that aid should reach $ 72 billion a year within the established time frame. Rather drastic measures are also needed to improve the effectiveness of aid. For example, in 2006, only 42% of aid provided to developing countries was linked to national priorities, and only 35% was linked to specific programmes6.

The goal of bringing the Organization for Economic Cooperation (ECO) countries ' ODA to 0.7% of GDP by 2015, set out in the Millennium Declaration, is still far from being achieved. Currently, European Union ODA is 0.38% of their GDP and is expected to increase to 0.56% in 2010.7 Denmark, Luxembourg and the Netherlands have reached 0.7%, while Japan is below 0.2% .8

page 36

Table 2

External financial flows to Africa (in billions of dollars) USD)










Official development assistance (ODA)









Foreign direct investment (FDI)









* Including debt relief under the Poor Countries Debt Relief Initiative.

Sources: African Economic Outlook 2004-2005. P. Fig. 8, p. 20; OECD. Development Aid at a Glance. 2007. p. Table 1.2.9, p. 24;

World Development lndtcators-2008. W., 2008. Р. 352 - 354.

Rich countries pay special attention to the problems of reducing the debt of African countries. The Group of Eight has initiated full external debt relief for 18 African countries and 15 more in the coming years.9

As a result of these initiatives, Africa's debt to Governments and multilateral institutions has decreased from $ 205.7 billion in 1999 to $ 144.5 billion in 2007. However, the volume of non-governmental debt owed by African countries to banks and other private creditors has increased from $ 92.4 billion in 1999 to $ 110.2 billion in 2006.10 In the statement by the President of the G20 Summit eight" in Japan in 2008, it was reaffirmed that debt reduction is seen by developed countries as a critical factor in the fight against poverty.

Overall, the increase in external aid was a secondary factor in accelerating the pace of development of the African economy: 5.2% in 2005, 5.7% in 2006, and 5.8% in 2007.11 Rising prices for oil, metals, and minerals played a major role in the upward trend. 61.5% of the continent's annual GDP growth in 2007 was driven by GDP growth in oil exporting countries12.

The observed GDP growth varied significantly by country. Between 1998 and 2006, an average growth rate of less than 3% was observed in 13 countries, between 3 and 5% in 25, and between 5 and 7% in 9 countries. And only in 5 countries it exceeded 7%13Meanwhile, achieving the development goals is considered possible only with GDP growth of 7% or more.

Many researchers also attribute the insignificant impact of the growth in aid volumes to corruption, the threat of the "Dutch disease", and the inability of African economies to effectively absorb ("absorb") the aid provided. Studies commissioned by the World Bank have shown that only 11 well-managed countries have GDP growth associated with increased external resource inflows14.


At the same time, the observed positive developments in the fields of education and health are primarily due to the help of the international community.

The G8 countries, and after them all the OECD member States, have made quite extensive commitments to implement basic education programs in poor countries. They supported the education development Agenda approved by the Education for All (EFA) Summit in Dakar in 2000, and the "Accelerate the Implementation of the EFA Goals Initiative" approved in 2002.

Under EFA, an estimated $ 350 million per year was provided to 12 developing countries up to 2005. Seven of them are located in Africa (Burkina Faso, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Mozambique and Niger)15Overall, to achieve the MDGs in this area, annual aid to African countries should be $ 8 billion to $ 8.5 billion, with each country spending up to 6% of its GDP on education.16 The G8 countries plan to increase their education assistance to $ 5.6 billion a year17 in the coming years.

Such large-scale investments seem necessary. Keep in mind that in 17 African countries, less than 50% of children attend primary school.

Along with education, the most ambitious efforts are being made by international donors in the fight against epidemic diseases, especially AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

The African continent is the undisputed "champion" in terms of infectious diseases.

Africa accounts for 63% (24.5 million people) of the world's HIV/AIDS infections. 18 70% of people who die from AIDS each year (1.9 million people). out of 2.8 million) - Africans. In 21 African countries, 8% of the adult population is infected with the virus, which reduces the level of expected economic growth per capita by 0.4%19.

Every year, 300 million people worldwide get malaria and more than 1 million people die, including 800,000 from sub-Saharan Africa. 20 Malaria causes an estimated $ 12 billion in annual economic losses in African countries. USD 21

The Group of Eight challenges in the fight against HIV/AIDS has been discussed since 2000, and a special action plan was adopted in 2003. This issue is regularly considered at sessions of the UN General Assembly. In 2001, the Special Session of the General Assembly adopted the Declaration of Commitment on HIV / AIDS. A joint United Nations programme on HIV was developed/on AIDS (UNAIDS). The Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria was launched in 2002

* NIRC - Heavily Indebted Poor Countries - the poorest countries with the most debt.

page 37

Table 3

Progress towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (sub-Saharan Africa)




Target indicators for CRTK2015.

1. Halving the number of people living on incomes below the poverty line:




Number of people living below the poverty line ($1.08 per day):




- millions of people.




- % of the total population




1a. Ending hunger




Number of people suffering from malnutrition:




- millions of people.




- % of the total population


31 (2005)


2. Achieving universal primary education:




- school-age children attending primary school (%)




3. Promotion of gender equality:




- the ratio of literate girls and boys aged 15 to 24 years




- % of out-of-school students:




- school-age girls




- boys




- % of women employed in the non-agricultural sector




- % of women in parliaments




4. Reducing child mortality:




- mortality of children under 5 years of age per 1000 births




5. Improving maternal health:




- % of women using qualified medical care




6. Fight against HIV / AIDS, malaria and other diseases:




- prevalence of AIDS among adults (15-49 years)
- number of people living with AIDS (2007)


5,8 21-24 million people.

50% reduction in the number of patients and stopping the spread of the disease

- AIDS-related mortality rate

200-230 thousand people.

2 million people.

Halve the incidence and stop the increase in the number of cases

- the number of tuberculosis diseases per 100 thousand population (exl. HIV-infected people)



Halve the incidence and stop the increase in the number of cases

7. Ensuring environmental sustainability:




- area of the territory covered by forest (%)




- access to safe drinking water (%of the population)




- population without access to safe drinking water (million people)




- access to modern sanitary facilities (in % of the population)




- population without access to modern sanitary facilities (millions of people)




Sources: UNECA. Economic Report on Africa 2007. Addis Ababa 2007; United Nations. The Millennium Development Goals Report 2006. N.Y. 2006; Investing in Development: A Practical plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. Report to the UN Secretary-General. New York. 2005; The 7th Meeting of the APF. Moscow, Russia 26 - 27 October 2006.

(GFATM). The G8 countries ' contributions to this fund at the end of 2006 amounted to $ 1.7 billion, $ 5 billion. euro, £ 360 million, £ 800 million Canadian dollars. In addition, several billion dollars have been contributed to the Global Alliance for Immunization Vaccines, the Global Center for HIV Vaccine Development, and programs to strengthen national health systems.

African countries have decided to allocate 15% of their budget expenditures to health care and expand the system of prevention and treatment of infectious diseases. 45 of them have established HIV coordination centers/AIDS.

The main goal of the fight against AIDS is to ensure universal access to comprehensive programs for the prevention, treatment and care of HIV-infected people by 2010. In this regard, additional resources are planned, given that UNAIDS estimates that between $ 25 and $ 30 billion will be required annually for this purpose until 2010.22 Developed countries have made these commitments.

However, real actions and their results are limited-

page 38

They differ significantly from the declared intentions and promises, although some positive changes have been achieved in a number of areas.

The total amount of funds allocated to the fight against AIDS in low-and middle-income countries amounted to about $ 2 billion in 2001 and $ 9 billion - $ 15 billion in 2006.23

In sub-Saharan Africa, 1 million people had access to treatment in 2006. HIV-infected people (100 thousand - in 2003) with a total number of 4.6 million people in need. On average, 23% of patients began to receive antiretroviral (ARV) treatment (in Botswana, Namibia, and Uganda - more than 50%). By 2010, according to the plans already implemented, the number of people undergoing treatment will reach 9.8 million, of which 80% are in acute need. At best, by the beginning of 2009, African countries will have reached 50% of the 2010 target level. 24

Only 6 African countries have reached the goal of reducing HIV prevalence by 25%./HIV / AIDS prevention among young people aged 15-24 years; ARV prevention against transmission of AIDS during childbirth affected 69% of pregnant women.


An analysis of the results of the efforts made tends to be more pessimistic. The data presented in table 3 indicate little progress towards achieving the MDGs. The UN report to the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly frankly states: "In fact, now that we are halfway through the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals, we can say that none of the African countries will probably be able to achieve all of these goals." 25

African countries, as noted above, have warmly supported programs to combat poverty, which is one of the main obstacles to the modernization and revival of the continent. Ultimately, we are talking about the urgent need to radically change the existential conditions of almost 1 billion people in order to save hundreds of millions of children, women and men from certain death. However, awareness of these realities is not always accompanied by the manifestation of the necessary will and determination in the activities of African political elites. For example, in 2006, only 6 States fulfilled their commitment to allocate 15% of their budget expenditures to health, while only 17 of these expenditures amount to 10%. In the remaining 30 countries, this figure is significantly lower.

As the new century begins, there is an increase in demand for mineral and agricultural raw materials exported by African countries. Increasing export revenues increases the financial capacity of African Governments. But will they be used efficiently? After all, corruption still consumes almost $ 150 billion a year26.

Even more critical criticism can be directed at international donors and their aid policies, ranging from the limited amount of aid to its use in accordance with the old matrix, that is, first of all, in their own, often selfish interests. 40% of net capital inflows to African countries are returned to creditor countries in the form of interest payments on debt or repatriation of profits. One example: in Madagascar, the cost of maintaining 700 foreign experts is equal to the salary of 100 thousand Malgash officials.

However, the reasons for the inadequacy of approaches to the development of the African continent and, consequently, to the issues of poverty eradication are obviously deeper.

Openness of economies is proclaimed as a panacea for all problems and an essential condition for the inflow of foreign investment and the favor of international aid centers for developing countries. Meanwhile, expanding the openness of African economies often leads to the elimination of any effective production structures, to the preservation of the rent-based, rather than producing economy. In the real conditions of the continent, this has led to an acceleration of the destruction of traditional production and distribution bases without adequate replacement, and to an increase in the outflow of resources.

In the state - market dilemma, the authors of development programs choose the market. African realities, however, show that market mechanisms alone cannot achieve poverty reduction, nor can balanced development. The experience of Asian countries demonstrates that it was the "triple alliance", i.e. "joint participation of the state, the market and the traditional community" that provided the "Asian miracle"27.

These problems are analyzed to some extent in the works of WB experts and are addressed in the documents of international forums, including the Group of Eight summits. However, as a rule, the discussions that have taken place have not yet led to noticeable corrections of established stereotypes in practical activities in the field of combating poverty. In these circumstances, pessimistic, if not nihilistic, views on its prospects remain prevailing, which, however, does not exclude that individual countries can achieve the benchmarks set out in the UN Millennium Declaration for certain goals. A prerequisite for success in this area is the strong political will of the ruling elites, their commitment to the development interests of their countries, and a sharp increase in the volume and effectiveness of international assistance.


As domestic stability and the economic and financial situation in the country improve, Russia is expanding its participation in international anti-poverty programs.

The following factors are taken into account: - failure to provide assistance to underdeveloped countries increases the development risks of the entire global economy, undermines stability and security in most regions of the world, increases the threat of the spread of terrorism, infectious diseases, uncontrolled migration and environmental disasters;

page 39

- a dramatic improvement in the socio-economic situation of developing countries is possible only if the world community takes decisive and coordinated measures to promote development.28

Russia's policy in this area is aimed at achieving the goals of eliminating poverty and ensuring sustainable development; stimulating the integration of the national markets of recipient countries with the Russian capital, goods, services and labor markets; strengthening the prestige of the Russian Federation in the international arena and strengthening its influence in world politics.

Until recently, Russia's development assistance was limited in both scope and form. Russia is the only G8 country whose regulatory documents do not contain the category of "official development assistance". Nevertheless, even in the most difficult times for itself, Russia did not stop providing humanitarian aid, made contributions to international aid organizations, and wrote off the debts of the least developed countries in Africa.

Our country declares its intention to increase the volume of state commitments to finance international aid programs. While in 2003 they amounted to $ 50 million, in 2006 they reached $ 215 million, and in the coming years this amount will increase to $ 400-500 million per year29.

To date, Russia has written off $ 20 billion in debt owed by African countries, is participating in a $ 56 million operation to repay Liberia's debt to the IMF, is finalizing negotiations on debt relief in the amount of $ 547 million with Benin, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Zambia, and is participating in the G8 initiative."on the cancellation of the multilateral debt of the poorest countries to the IMF and the International Development Association: the amount of the contribution for the period 2007-2014 is about $ 33 million, as well as in the accelerated financing initiative of the Education for All program (the amount of the contribution is $ 7.2 million). Every year, the Russian Federation provides 700 scholarships for studying in Russian universities.

Significant assistance is provided in the healthcare sector. Russia's contributions to the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria reach $ 40 million, the World Bank's malaria control program in Africa - $ 20 million, and the world polio eradication initiative in 2008 - more than $ 20 million. Regular contributions are made to the UN World Pro-Food Program for targeted state assistance (in 2007 - $ 3.5 million; in 2008 - $ 6 million).

Russian military personnel (about 350 people) are involved in UN peacekeeping operations in Africa.

The Russian Government has to carefully coordinate the extent of its participation in international efforts to help combat poverty with the state of affairs in this area in its own country. Unfortunately, the implementation of the policy of transition to a liberal market economy, proclaimed in the early 1990s, was accompanied by a deterioration in the living conditions of Russians. According to official data, in 2007, 20.9 million Russians (15% of the population) lived below the subsistence level (3,879 rubles). According to expert estimates, there are more than 1 million people in the country. There are 30 HIV-infected people.

Of course, it would be wrong to contrast participation in international development assistance with domestic programs for solving social problems. However, in the current conditions of the Russian economy, its resource opportunities for external investment remain quite limited, which forces the Russian government to carefully weigh all the pros and cons when determining the volume and forms of its participation in international development assistance projects. On the other hand, Russia's non-participation in these international efforts is fraught with significant political and economic costs.

1 United Nations Millennium Project, 2005. "Investing in development and a practical plan for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. General overview". New York. 2005.

2 Ibid., p. 1.

3 См.: Bhalla S. Imagine there's no Country: Poverty, Inequality and Growth in the lira of Globalization. Wash. 2002.

Shishkov Yu 4 Urovneh bednosti v sovremennom mire: metodologicheskie spory [The level of poverty in the modern world: Methodological Disputes]. MEiMO, 2006, No. 1, p. 14.

5 Africa Economic Outlook. 2003/2001. Paris. p. 408-409, 471-473.

6 63rd session of the UN General Assembly (2008). Report of the UN Secretary-General "Africa's development needs: progress on various commitments, challenges and the way forward". A / 63 / 130. pp. 23, 24, 35 (in Russian I:!.).

7 Ibid. p. 4.

8 UNECA. Economic Report on Africa 2007. Addis Ababa. p. 102.

9 Summary of С 8 Africa Personal Representatives. Joint Progress Report on the G 8 Africa Partnership. I leiligendamm G 8 Summit, June 2007.

10 Ibid. P. 107.

11 UNECA. Economic Report on Africa 2008... Р. 41.

12 Ibid. p. 46.

13 UNECA. Economic Report on Africa 2007. Р. 20.

14 Ibid. p. 104.

15 Joint report of the Personal Representatives of the G8 leaders on Africa on the implementation of the G8 action Plan for Africa - www.g 8. gov. nk / servlet/ G8 Glcncaglcs 2005. Summit Documents.

16 Our Common Interest. Report of the Commission for Africa. London. 2005. P. 184.

17 Joint report of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Eight leaders... p. 35.

18 Africa Partnership Forum (APF). The 7 th Meeting of the APF. Moscow, Russia. 26-27 October, 2006 (hereinafter-APF/MOS-2006, N 8).

19 Fight against infectious diseases. Documents of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg. July 2006 - www.g 8

20 Ibid.; UNECA. Report on Africa 2007 ... p. 59.

21 Documents of the G8 Summit in St. Petersburg -www.g 8

22 63rd session of the GA PLO ... p. 34.

23 APF/MOS-2006, N 8.

24 Ibidem.

25 63rd Session of the UN General Assembly ... p. 6.

Hugon P. 26 L'economie de l'Afrique. Paris. 2006. P. 64.

llayami Y. 27 and Aoki M. The Institutional Foundations of East Asia Development. London. 1998.

28 See: Concept of the Russian Federation's Participation in International Development Assistance (approved by the President of the Russian Federation on June 14, 2007).

29 Ibid.

Kazantsev V. O. 30 Priority national projects and new ideology for Russia, Moscow, 2007. 20, 29, 32 - 33, 94; Kommersant, 22.02.2008. The cost of living in Russia is 10 to 15 times lower than in developed countries.


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