The global financial crisis sweeping through Wall Street and the European banking sector will touch the lives of the world's most vulnerable, pushing millions into deeper poverty and leading to the deaths of thousands of children, according to a new United Nations study.
Reduced growth in 2009 will cost the 390 million people in sub-SaharanAfrica living in extreme poverty around $18 billion, or $46 per person, warned the report by the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
"This projected loss represents 20 per cent of the per capita income of Africa's poor – a figure that dwarfs the losses sustained in the developed world." Contrary to initial notions by economists, vulnerability to the financial crisis is having the greatest effect in developing nations.
The World Bank reported in March, 2009 that "Almost 40 percent of 107 developing countries were highly exposed to the poverty effects of the crisis and the remainder was moderately exposed, with less than 10 percent facing little risk." We can easily agree with a recent statement by the World Food Programme, "The poor, who are least responsible for setting the financial crisis in motion, are the least protected from its negative impact, and the most likely to experience its impact."
[photo courtesy of FH photographer Rodney Rascona]