Once países y un compromiso: la participación e inclusión de los jóvenes de la región

10 Jul 2015 by Pablo Gago,Specialist, Youth and Civic Engagement, UNDP Regional Centre in Panama

YouthMore than 160 million Latin American and Caribbean youth are fighting against the inequality between different generations in public policy. Photo: UNDP El Salvador
Existe un déficit cercano al 50% en la participación del gasto público en juventud en relación con otros grupos etarios en América Latina y el Caribe, según el informe Invertir para Transformar de Organización Iberoamericana de Juventud (OIJ) y la Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL). Eso considerando el peso demográfico de los hombres y mujeres entre 15-29 años y una noción de gasto distribuido equitativamente. Esto no se condice con el hecho de que uno en cada cuatro latinoamericanos y caribeños es joven. … Read more

An HIV milestone achieved in Cuba

10 Jul 2015 by Carlos Cortés Falla, Principal Technical Advisor, HIV projects, UNDP Cuba

HIV testIn Cuba, preventive services, like HIV testing for all pregnant women, contributed to the elimination of mother-to-child HIV transmission. Photo: UNDP
This is a momentous moment for us working in Cuba. The World Health Organization recently declared that Cuba had eliminated the transmission of HIV and syphilis from mother to child. Cuba is the first country to reach this goal and it is a great milestone for us. But it is also a landmark in the response to HIV globally. How was Cuba able to achieve this? Cuba’s comprehensive health system is available for all Cuban citizens equally, and is effective in integrating the health care of mothers and children with the health management of HIV and other sexually transmitted diseases. Because of this integration, Cuba has been able to strengthen its HIV and syphilis prevention efforts by offering early access to prenatal care, testing both pregnant women and their partners for HIV and syphilis (as a standard test that also includes other illnesses), treating women who test positive as well as their babies, and offering caesarean deliveries and alternative solutions to breast feeding, such as pediatric supplements. These interventions are vital to preventing the transmission of HIV from mother to child. While an HIV positive woman has between a 15 – 45 percent chance of passing the virus to their child … Read more

The macreconomics of development financing

09 Jul 2015 by Degol Hailu, Senior Advisor, UNDP

Mean years of schooling in countries employing relaxed macroeconomic policies are 1.5 years higher than those which adopted more restrictive policies.
Consider this. During the summit on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, the world community will agree to: strengthen domestic resource mobilization capacity; increase the availability of external funds such as official development assistance (ODA) and foreign direct investment (FDI); reduce the cost of sending remittances; and tackle illicit financial flows. However, all of the above measures will be futile if countries adopt macroeconomic policies that are not developmental. Let us examine the recent history of macroeconomic policies in ten selected low-income countries. They have had very restrictive monetary policies with lending interest rate averaging 21.6% between 2007 and 2013. All of them had inflation targeting as a major policy objective. They kept their claims on the central government to less than 1% of GDP. Now let's look at their macroeconomic performance. Yes, they did well when judged against the mantra of macroeconomic stability. Economic growth has been medium to high, averaging 5.4% between 2007 and 2013. During the same period, inflation remained below 8% and their fiscal deficit was 2.1% of GDP. These ten countries implemented what is known as restrictive macroeconomic policies. However, their development outcome is not different from middle-income countries that implemented relaxed macroeconomic policies. These countries … Read more

A look behind the protective gear reveals the faces of Ebola

08 Jul 2015 by Anthony Headley, Communication Specialist, UNDP in Guinea

ebolaPhoto posters of Ebola workers from the Inside Out project are showcased on the UNDP Common House in Conakry, Guinea. Photo: Anthony Headley/UNDP Guinea
Forécariah is a grueling 3.5 hour drive out of Guinea’s capital, Conakry.  Although the road is only 100 kilometers, it is bustling with life. Between the potholes, the markets take over the two-lane highway’s flat surface.  The excitement of the road mirrored what I was feeling about my mission once I arrived in Forécariah. I had chosen to take the portraits of the people who work in Ebola treatment centres.  To show the faces of those everyone has seen, but who have mostly appeared in their astronaut-looking suits, under their personal protective equipment. These are the front line workers, the grunts of this brutal war against an invisible enemy, an opportunistic virus that does not bite, but rapes your body: the Ebola virus. This endeavor was part of the Inside Out project, global art project transforming messages of personal identity into works of art. The project commited to print the portraits of women and men who, for the most part, volunteered to work with their brothers and sisters infected with Ebola in Ebola treatment centres. My intention was to capture their faces and intent, at the treatment center run by the Red Cross. I set up outside with a backdrop, tripod … Read more

Unlocking the potential of Mali’s youth

08 Jul 2015 by Jean-Luc Stalon, Deputy Country Director of UNDP in Mali

Youth in Mali. Credit: Harandane Dicko / UNDP in Mali
With its youthful population and track record of civil crises, Mali is the perfect case study on the relationship between youth and stability. Mali’s fertility rate is second only to Niger’s. Yet in a country that doesn’t provide jobs, opportunities for decision-making and a sense of purpose, this youth bulge is more likely to be a powerful demographic time bomb rather than a driver of economic growth. The complex crisis that hit Mali in 2012 compounded the issue, as armed groups found fertile ground for recruitment in Mali’s large pool of poor, disaffected, uneducated youths, enticed both by easy money and radical ideologies. The conflict also fueled important migration flows to North Africa and Europe. Now more than ever, the country’s youth need solutions that are specific to their daily realities and will discourage them from going astray. To that end, the government and its partners have put into place a vast array of youth employment policies, as well as programmes to strengthen social cohesion, reintegrate displaced people and mobilise national volunteers. These initiatives have done a lot for those targeted, but fall short of a comprehensive, national solution for reintegrating youths and increasing their prospects for a better life. In … Read more