Poverty and health

Fostering political will for food security
Le Vallée JC, Development Gateway, 3 October 2006

The paper reviews: a) recent developments in global and national political relations, thinking, and related institutional changes, b) the effect of such developments on the incidence of hunger, c) the ability and willingness of governments to eradicate hunger, and d) the efforts to foster greater political will for food security.These four points are central to the argument presented here and appear across the subsequent sub-sections. They are intertwined and only offer a complete picture in combination. The paper starts with a short statement to set the context for a national perspective on political will. It then reviews and appraises examples where political will has either frustrated attempts to address food insecurity and examples where political will has been formulated into a cohesive set of policies and programs to address food insecurity. These case studies then set the foundation for articulating the key constructs to focus political will in a way conducive to reducing food and nutrition insecurity.

Inequality and Poverty in Africa in an Era of Globalisation: Looking Beyond Income to Health and Education
Sahn DE and Younger SD: UNU-WIDER, November 2007

This paper describes changes over the past 15-20 years in non-income measures of wellbeing—education and health—in Africa. Results indicate that in the area of health, little progress is being made in terms of reducing pre-school age stunting, a clear manifestation of poor overall health. Likewise, our health inequality measure showed that while there were a few instances of reduced inequality along this dimension, there was, on balance, little evidence of success in improving equality of outcomes. Similar results were found in our examination of underweight women as an indicator of general current health status of adults. The overall picture gives little cause for complacency or optimism that Africa has reaped, or will soon reap the potential benefits of the process of globalisation.

Tanzania: Status Report 2006

The Status Report for 2006 is produced in accordance with the MKUKUTA Monitoring Master Plan which calls for a short report on the status of growth and poverty in Tanzania in those years in which a full Poverty and Human Development Report (PHDR) is not produced. It provides an overview of the most recent data on indicators of progress towards the goals and targets of MKUKUTA’s three major clusters of desired outcomes for poverty reduction: growth and reduction of income poverty; improvement of quality of life and social well-being; and governance and accountability.

"Land grabbing” by foreign investors in developing countries: Risks and opportunities
Von Braun J. and Meinzen-Dick R: IFPRI Policy Brief April 2009

One of the lingering effects of the food price crisis of 2007–08 on the world food system is the proliferating acquisition of farmland in developing countries by other countries seeking to ensure their food supplies. Increased pressures on natural resources, water scarcity, export restrictions imposed by major producers when food prices were high, and growing distrust in the functioning of regional and global markets have pushed countries short in land and water to find alternative means of producing food. These land acquisitions have the potential to inject much-needed investment into agriculture and rural areas in poor developing countries, but they also raise concerns about the impacts on poor local people, who risk losing access to and control over land on which they depend. the authors argue that it is crucial to ensure that these land deals, and the environment within which they take place, are designed in ways that will reduce the threats and facilitate the opportunities for all parties involved.

$363 million Poverty Reduction Grant signed to improve healthcare systems, water resources, and private sector investment
Millenium Challenge Corporation, 23 July 2007

The five-year Millennium Challenge Compact with Lesotho aims to increase water supplies for industrial and domestic use, to mitigate the devastating affects of poor maternal health, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and other diseases, and to remove barriers to foreign and local private sector investment. By 2013, the Compact will benefit the majority of the population of 1.8 million due to its broad geographic scope and focus on sectors that impact most Basotho such as health and the provision of potable water.

** Food security and nutrition
Abstract of paper presented at the Equinet conference, Durban, 8-9 June 2004, by Mickey Chopra, David Sanders, School of Public Health University of Western Cape

The lack of household food security, and the subsequent poor nutrition, continues to blight the lives of millions of people in Southern Africa. Adequate food and nutrition is a basic right. The deprivation of this right has immense consequences for addressing inequities across the region. Poor nutritional status stunts educational development as well as increasing the risk of acquiring, and the severity of, infectious diseases (including HIV/AIDS). The lack of household food security has led to increased vulnerability, especially of women, to diseases such as HIV.

Further details: /newsletter/id/30453
2009 Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction: Risk and poverty in a changing climate
PreventionWeb: 2009

This first edition of the biennial Global Assessment Report on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) aims to review and analyse the natural hazards threatening humanity and seeks to provide new evidence on how, where and why disaster risk is increasing globally. It found that economic development increases a country’s exposure at the same time as it decreases its vulnerability, but this trend was more pronounced in low- and middle-income countries with rapidly growing economies. More than two thirds of the mortality and economic losses from internationally reported disasters were related to climate change and natural disasters. The translation of poverty into risk is conditioned by the capacity of urban and local governments to plan and regulate urban development, enable access to safe land and provide protection for poor households. Community- and local-level approaches can increase the relevance, effectiveness and sustainability of DRR across all practice areas, reduce costs and build social capital.

2012 Global Hunger Index: The challenge of hunger: Ensuring sustainable food security under land, water, and energy stresses
International Food Policy Research Institute: 2012

In this report, IFPRI describes the evidence on land, water, and energy scarcity in developing countries and offers two visions of a future global food system: an unsustainable scenario in which current trends in resource use continue, and a sustainable scenario in which access to food, modern energy, and clean water improves significantly and ecosystem degradation is halted or reversed. The report provides on-the-ground perspectives on the issues of land tenure and title as well as the impacts of scarce land, water, and energy on poor people in Sierra Leone and Tanzania and describes the work of their organisations in helping to alleviate these impacts.

A Conceptual Framework for Action on the Social Determinants of Health
Solar O and Irwin A: World Health Organisation Social Determinants of Health, Discussion paper 2, 2010

The Commission on Social Determinants of Health (CSDH) was tasked by the World Health Organisation (WHO) with summarising the evidence on how the structure of societies, through myriad social interactions, norms and institutions, are affecting population health, and what governments and public health can do about it. To guide the Commission, the WHO Secretariat conducted this review and summary of different frameworks for understanding the social determinants of health (SDH). Developing a conceptual framework on social determinants of health (SDH) for the CSDH needs to take note of the specific theories of the social production of health. Three main theoretical non-mutually exclusive explanations were reviewed: (1) psychosocial approaches; (2) social production of disease/political economy of health; and (3) eco-social frameworks. In turning to policy action on SDH inequities, three broad approaches to reducing health inequities can be identified, based on: (1) targeted programmes for disadvantaged populations; (2) closing health gaps between worse-off and better-off groups; and (3) addressing the social health gradient across the whole population. A consistent equity-based approach to SDH must ultimately lead to a gradients focus. However, strategies based on tackling health disadvantage, health gaps and gradients are not mutually exclusive. They can complement and build on each other.

A cross sectional study: latrine coverage and associated factors among rural communities in the District of Bahir Dar Zuria, Ethiopia
Awoke W and Muche S: BMC Public Health 13(99), 4 February 2013

The aim of this study was to assess latrine coverage and the associated factors among the rural communities in district of Bahir Dar Zuria, Ethiopia. A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted on 608 households in district of Bahir Dar Zuria. Data were collected by means of a pretested, standardised questionnaire and observation checklist. Of the 608 households, 355 (58.4%) had pit latrines and only 220 (62%) were functional (providing services during data collection). One hundred and eighty-seven (52.7%) had been constructed two or more years prior to the time of the study and 202 (56.9%) latrines required maintenance. Latrine coverage in District of Bahir Dar Zuria was far from the national target of 100%. The availability of latrines was found to be affected by income level, frequency of visits by health workers, walking time from local health institutions, and distance from the urban area of Bahir Dar. Therefore, it is recommended that the frequency of supportive visits be increased and that special attention be given to households in inaccessible areas.