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Households bear large portion of costs of world recovery: UN chief

06-22-2010 08:38 BJT

UNITED NATIONS, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Judged solely in the terms of economic growth, countries have proven to be remarkably resilient, but the day to day costs for the world's recovery have largely been borne by households, UN Secretary-General Ban Ni-moon said Monday.

It appears "the burden of coping has been placed disproportionately on the world poor and vulnerable," he said in a letter accompanying a report on the Millennium Development Goals ( MDGs) for the G20 Summit in Toronto, Canada, next week and a September MDGs summit.

"In the face of the global financial crisis a number of developing countries have proven to be remarkably resilient -- if judged purely in terms of economic growth," Ban said. "At the same time, it appears that the burden of coping has been borne disproportionately by poor and vulnerable people. This reality is poorly understood as it tends to fall below the radar of most traditional monitoring systems."

"Even where countries have been resilient and are returning to growth, the day-to-day costs of the crisis have been high for many households," the UN chief said in a prologue to the "qualitative" 36-page report, "Voices of the Vulnerable: Recovery from the Ground Up."

"Furthermore, where immediate impacts appear not to have been severe, the ongoing erosion of resilience has the potential to damage longer term development prospects," he said.

Realizing the overall impacts of the crisis could not be measured strictly on macroeconomic indicators, Ban said.

He explained the objective was to shed more light on what happened "on the ground."

The report drew on limited and slowly emerging statistical data, projections and scenario work by major international organizations and qualitative reports from both informed observers and the poor and vulnerable themselves.

It looked at how the poor and the vulnerable experienced the crisis since the last Voices of the Vulnerable in 2009.

"We continue to hear accounts of lost employment, unaffordability of nutritious food, disproportionately high costs of coping for children, young adults and women, and growing tensions arising within families and communities as they try to make ends meet," the secretary-general said.

Editor:Xiong Qu |Source: Xinhua

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