UNICEF: Even the poorest deserve the basics FWD

Tom Boland (wgcp@earthlink.net)
Wed, 4 Nov 1998 03:49:28 -0400


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FWD
Please email media@unicef.org with comments or requests for more
information, quoting CF/DOC/PR/1998/54.


EVEN THE POOREST DESERVE THE BASICS


Monday, 26 October 1998: UNICEF issued a strong call today for global
reaffirmation of the 20/20 Initiative. The Initiative, whose goal is
achievement of universal and sustained access to good quality basic
social services, will be the subject of an international meeting to
be held in Hanoi 27-29 October. Put forward in the early 1990s, 20/20
proposes a framework for generating the resources needed to achieve
the development goals set by world summits and global conferences,
including the 1990 World Summit for Children.

The Hanoi meeting is being co-sponsored by Norway and the Netherlands
and will be hosted by Vietnam. It will bring together government
representatives from more than 20 developing and all donor nations,
including the Group of 7, and officials of UNICEF, United Nations
Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, World Health
Organisation, World Bank and a dozen non-governmental organisations.

"The 20/20 Initiative is based on the premise that universal access
to basic social services can be achieved by all countries, even those
with relatively low levels of per capita income," UNICEF Executive
Director Carol Bellamy said. "At its heart is a mutual commitment by
developing and industrialised countries alike to allocate sufficient
resources from their national budgets and Official Development
Assistance (ODA) to get the job done."

"Millions of people are still deprived of their right to basic social
services," Ms. Bellamy stated. "For instance, an estimated 40 per
cent of all children in developing countries, many of them girls,
fail to complete four years of primary education, the minimum
required to ensure lasting literacy."

The UNICEF chief added that the initiative's target of 20 per cent is
indicative, not prescriptive. "The share will vary from country to
country but, at the global level, the allocation of about 20 per cent
of national budgets and 20 per cent of ODA is required to close the
gap between current spending and the minimum level necessary to reach
universality during the first decades of the 21st Century."

National 20/20 budget studies in some 30 countries show that the
share governments allocate to basic social services ranges, on
average, between 12 and 14 per cent, which is insufficient to reach
universal coverage over the next 10 to 15 years. Very few countries
spend anywhere near 20 per cent of their budgets on these services.
The donor share spent in developing countries on basic social
services averages about 15 per cent, though this amount varies from
country to country and from year to year.

In addition, public spending in recipient nations often by-passes the
poor and suffers from inefficiencies that reduce the impact of
spending on social services.

"Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child means
that the commitments to reach the unreached with basic social
services must be expressed in concrete financial terms within
national budgets and through international cooperation," Ms. Bellamy
said.

"Debt reduction is also an essential factor in making the 20/20
initiative a realistic goal for the coming millennium," Ms. Bellamy
added. " Many low-income countries now spend a larger proportion of
their national budgets servicing external debt than on basic social
services, a fact that is morally unacceptable and economically
senseless. Providing universal access to adequate basic services will
require the urgent removal of the debt burden in the least developed
countries."

The 20/20 Initiative offers an incentive for debt relief. Ms. Bellamy
noted that the fiscal dividend resulting from debt relief can be
earmarked for basic social services that reach goals established by
the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for
Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These goals include
halving poverty, reducing under-five and maternal mortality and
achieving basic education and reproductive health for all by the year
2015.

"The Hanoi meeting should make it clear that providing universal and
sustained access to basic social services is essential to the
development objectives of both developing and donor countries," Ms.
Bellamy said. "The bottom line for the world's poorest children is
that, without renewed global commitment to the 20/20 Initiative,
their chances of survival will be radically and, in all too many
cases, entirely diminished."

END FORWARD
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receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **

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FWD

Please email media@unicef.org with comments or requests for more

information, quoting CF/DOC/PR/1998/54. 



<paraindent><param>right,left</param>EVEN THE POOREST DESERVE THE
BASICS 

</paraindent>


Monday, 26 October 1998: UNICEF issued a strong call today for global

reaffirmation of the 20/20 Initiative. The Initiative, whose goal is

achievement of universal and sustained access to good quality basic

social services, will be the subject of an international meeting to

be held in Hanoi 27-29 October. Put forward in the early 1990s, 20/20

proposes a framework for generating the resources needed to achieve

the development goals set by world summits and global conferences,

including the 1990 World Summit for Children. 


The Hanoi meeting is being co-sponsored by Norway and the Netherlands

and will be hosted by Vietnam. It will bring together government

representatives from more than 20 developing and all donor nations,

including the Group of 7, and officials of UNICEF, United Nations

Development Programme, United Nations Population Fund, World Health

Organisation, World Bank and a dozen non-governmental organisations. 


"The 20/20 Initiative is based on the premise that universal access

to basic social services can be achieved by all countries, even those

with relatively low levels of per capita income," UNICEF Executive

Director Carol Bellamy said. "At its heart is a mutual commitment by

developing and industrialised countries alike to allocate sufficient

resources from their national budgets and Official Development

Assistance (ODA) to get the job done." 


"Millions of people are still deprived of their right to basic social

services," Ms. Bellamy stated. "For instance, an estimated 40 per

cent of all children in developing countries, many of them girls,

fail to complete four years of primary education, the minimum

required to ensure lasting literacy." 


The UNICEF chief added that the initiative's target of 20 per cent is

indicative, not prescriptive. "The share will vary from country to

country but, at the global level, the allocation of about 20 per cent

of national budgets and 20 per cent of ODA is required to close the

gap between current spending and the minimum level necessary to reach

universality during the first decades of the 21st Century." 


National 20/20 budget studies in some 30 countries show that the

share governments allocate to basic social services ranges, on

average, between 12 and 14 per cent, which is insufficient to reach

universal coverage over the next 10 to 15 years. Very few countries

spend anywhere near 20 per cent of their budgets on these services.

The donor share spent in developing countries on basic social

services averages about 15 per cent, though this amount varies from

country to country and from year to year. 


In addition, public spending in recipient nations often by-passes the

poor and suffers from inefficiencies that reduce the impact of

spending on social services.


"Implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child means

that the commitments to reach the unreached with basic social

services must be expressed in concrete financial terms within

national budgets and through international cooperation," Ms. Bellamy

said. 


"Debt reduction is also an essential factor in making the 20/20

initiative a realistic goal for the coming millennium," Ms. Bellamy

added. " Many low-income countries now spend a larger proportion of

their national budgets servicing external debt than on basic social

services, a fact that is morally unacceptable and economically

senseless. Providing universal access to adequate basic services will

require the urgent removal of the debt burden in the least developed

countries." 


The 20/20 Initiative offers an incentive for debt relief. Ms. Bellamy

noted that the fiscal dividend resulting from debt relief can be

earmarked for basic social services that reach goals established by

the Development Assistance Committee (DAC) of the Organisation for

Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). These goals include

halving poverty, reducing under-five and maternal mortality and

achieving basic education and reproductive health for all by the year

2015. 


"The Hanoi meeting should make it clear that providing universal and

sustained access to basic social services is essential to the

development objectives of both developing and donor countries," Ms.

Bellamy said. "The bottom line for the world's poorest children is

that, without renewed global commitment to the 20/20 Initiative,

their chances of survival will be radically and, in all too many

cases, entirely diminished."


END FORWARD 

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. **


HOMELESS PEOPLE'S NETWORK  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/>  Home Page

ARCHIVES  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/archives.html>  read posts to HPN

TO JOIN  <<http://aspin.asu.edu/hpn/join.html> or email Tom <<wgcp@earthlink.net>

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