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close this bookHabitat Debate - Vol. 6 - No. 4 - 2000 - Urbanization of Poverty (HABITAT - UNDESA, 2000, 52 p.)
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New Publications

World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty

Published for the World Bank by Oxford University Press, 2001
Paperback US$26,ISBN 0-19-521129-4
Hardcover US$50, ISBN 0-19-521598-2

At the start of a new century, poverty remains a global problem of huge proportions. Of the world's 6 billion people, 2.8 billion live on less than $2 a day and 1.2 billion on less than $1 a day. Eight out of every 100 infants do not live to see their fifth birthday. Nine of every 100 boys and 14 of every 100 girls who reach school age do not attend school. Poverty is also evident in poor people's lack of political power and voice and in their extreme vulnerability to ill health, economic dislocation, personal violence and natural disasters. And the scourge of HIV/AIDS, the frequency and brutality of civil conflicts, and rising disparities between rich countries and the developing world have increased the sense of deprivation and injustice for many.

World Development Report 2000/2001: Attacking Poverty (which follows two other World Development Reports on poverty, in 1980 and 1990) argues nevertheless that major reductions in all these dimensions of poverty are indeed possible - that the interaction of markets, state institutions, and civil societies can harness the forces of economic integration and technological change to serve the interests of poor people and increase their share of society's prosperity.

Actions are needed in three complementary areas: promoting economic opportunities for poor people through equitable growth, better access to markets, and expanded assets; facilitating empowerment by making state institutions more responsive to poor people and removing social barriers that exclude women, ethnic and racial groups, and the socially disadvantaged; and enhancing security by preventing and managing economy-wide shocks and providing mechanisms to reduce the sources of vulnerability that poor people face. But actions by countries and communities will not be enough. Global actions need to complement national and local initiatives to achieve maximum benefit for poor people throughout the world.

To order, write to:
The World Bank
P.O. Box 960
Herndon, VA 20172-0960
USA
Fax: 703-661-1501
Tel: 703-661-1580 or 800-645-7247
E-mail: books@worldbank.org

Legal Resources for Housing Rights: International and National Standards

COHRE Sources No.4
Published by the Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions (COHRE), Geneva, 2000
ISBN 92-95004-00-0

Among many sectors of society, particularly those who have rarely benefitted in practical terms from human rights law, a degree of skepticism exists as to the usefulness of laws in promoting and guaranteeing social justice. Nevertheless, the experience of COHRE suggests that legal resources have a much wider applicability and impact than is commonly assumed. Utilizing the law, international law in particular, provides a solid legal basis for holding governments accountable for protecting the full spectrum of human rights of everyone and for promoting national legislative, policy and other initiatives that are in full compliance with these international standards which governments themselves have freely accepted.

There is now a UN Housing Rights Programme providing much needed institutional support to the expansion of housing rights throughout the developing world. Dozens of new housing rights are now in place and popular awareness of housing rights as human rights has reached a high point.

This publication reveals how widespread the recognition of housing rights is throughout international, regional and national legislation. It is designed both as a reference document on housing rights under law, as well as a comprehensive statement on the global status of housing rights today. However, it is not only a reference document, it can also be used as a basis for developing legal demands in support of housing rights and moves at all levels towards the adoption of new, more specific legislation on housing rights.

To order, write to:

COHRE
83 Rue de Montbrillant
1202 Geneva
Switzerland
Tel/Fax: (41-22) 734 1028
E-mail: sleckie@attglobal.net
Internet: www.cohre.org

Support and Housing in Europe

Tackling social exclusion in the European Union
By Bill Edgar, Joe Doherty and Amy Mina-Coull
Published by The Policy Press, Bristol, 2000
ISBN 1 86134 2756

The report draws on the 1999 national reports of the correspondents of the European Observatory on Homelessness who conduct research on behalf of FEANTSA (the European Federation of National Organizations Working with the Homeless). The study explores the development of designated "supported accommodation", and other social support mechanisms for vulnerable people in the EU countries over the last two decades.

The authors consider the principles underlying the emergence of supported housing and describe the policy context of care services in the EU. The definition, emergence and nature of support in housing in the 15 member states is explored. The authors conclude by highlighting the problems, issues and dilemmas in the pursuit of supported housing policies and in the implementation of those policies.

Support and Housing in Europe is essential reading for social workers, service providers, policy makers, researchers and students with an interest in the development of effective responses to social exclusion.

The Quality of Growth

Published for the World Bank by Oxford University Press, 2000

This report shows that countries can dramatically improve the quality of peoples' lives if they blend policies that promote economic growth with those that embrace wider access to education, greater protection of the environment, more civil liberties and stronger anti-corruption measures. Countries could also double their per capita incomes by improving the quality of their legal systems.

The Quality of Growth says that while the last decade of the 20th century saw great economic progress in parts of the world, it also witnessed stagnation and setbacks, even in countries that had previously achieved the fastest rates of economic growth. Looking back over previous decades of development results, the report says that the world has much to celebrate as it begins the new millennium. A child born today in the developing world can expect to live 25 years longer, and be healthier, better-educated, and more productive than a child born 50 years ago. The spread of democracy has brought millions of people new freedoms and opportunities. The communications revolution holds the same promise of universal access to education.

However, upon closer examination, the report says that at least 100 million more people are living in poverty today than a decade ago, and the gap between rich and poor is growing wider. In many countries the scourge of AIDS has cruelly cut life expectancy ¾ in some African countries by more than 10 years. Each year 2.4 million children die of waterborne diseases. As many as a billion people have entered the 21st century unable to read or write. Some 1.8 million people die every year of indoor air pollution in rural areas alone. Forests are being destroyed at the rate of an acre a second, with unimaginable loss of biodiversity.

"Just as the quality of people's diets, and not just the quantity of food they eat, influences their health and life expectancy, the way in which growth is generated and distributed has profound implications for people and their quality of life," says Vinod Thomas, World Bank Vice-President and lead author of the new report. "What factors are most effective in sustaining growth beyond a temporary upswing and in bringing about real gains in human well-being? Sound macroeconomic policies and the application of appropriate market-oriented microeconomic principles are basic elements. But along with them, several crucial factors ¾ often neglected in policymaking and policy advice - emerge as key to improving people's' lives."

Thomas says four areas need re-appraisal by countries pursuing better living standards and less poverty: improving access to education; greater protection of the environment; managing global risks; and improving the quality of governance - making institutions less corrupt, more transparent, and accountable to ordinary people.