Tuesday, May 16, 2006

The World Bank: Hazardous to Africa’s Health

Via: Africa Action

"This newly-updated fact sheet argues that the policies imposed by the World Bank on African governments have devastated Africa's health care systems and fueled the fire of HIV/AIDS..."

What does the World Bank do in Africa?
The World Bank uses conditions attached to its loans to effect economic policy changes in African countries. These changes cut back government services to the people, reduce trade barriers, and maintain economies as sources of cheap raw materials and cheap labor for multinational corporations. The results have been a decline in average incomes, worsening conditions of poverty, and an increase in Africa's foreign debt. Africa Action estimates that, between 1970 and 2003, African countries received about $540 billion in loans, and paid back $580 billion in debt service, yet the continent is still saddled with over $200 billion in external debt. The current debt relief framework – the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative – has proven to be an inadequate response to Africa’s debt crisis. Even the debt cancellation deal reached at the 2005 “Group of 8” summit is insufficient to address the continent’s debt burden, as it excludes the majority of African countries and the majority of Africa’s debt. The deal also establishes that countries must continue to fulfill World Bank conditions before becoming eligible for future debt cancellation

How has the World Bank undermined Africa's health?

* Forced cut-backs in spending on health care
Over the past two decades, the World Bank has forced African governments to reduce government spending on health care. This has resulted in the closure of hundreds of hospitals and clinics, and has left the remaining medical facilities under-staffed and lacking in essential supplies. Under the tutelage of the World Bank and IMF, in the 42 poorest countries in Africa, spending on health care fell by 50% during the 1980s. The World Health Organization (WHO)’s annual report for 2006 warns of a worldwide shortage of medical workers of over 4 million affecting 57 countries, 36 of which are in sub-Saharan Africa.

* Privatization of health care services and introduction of "user fees"
The World Bank has forced African governments to privatize government-held services such as health care, and to introduce "user fees" for receiving basic care. This has created a two-tier system, and has denied access to health care to the poor, who cannot afford to pay these fees. In countries like Uganda and Zambia, where “user fees” have recently been eliminated, health care has been made available to millions of people who were previously denied such access as a result of World Bank and IMF prescriptions.

* Demanding debt repayments take precedence over health
Across Africa, many governments are still forced to spend more money on debt repayments to the World Bank and rich country governments each year than they do on health care for their own populations. African countries are required to prioritize meeting World Bank and IMF conditions over meeting the basic needs of their own people. In 2003, African countries paid over $25 billion in debt service to creditors even as some 2.3 million Africans lost their lives to HIV/AIDS that same year.

* Intensification of poverty and underdevelopment
The World Bank's structural adjustment programs have not fostered economic growth and development in Africa, but have instead exacerbated conditions of poverty, food insecurity, and ill-health. There has been an increase in the spread of poverty-related diseases such as tuberculosis, and malnutrition has led to weakened immune systems, particularly among children. Since the 1980s, the devastating spread of HIV/AIDS has been facilitated by widespread poverty and the lack of access to health care facilities. Some 26 million Africans are currently living with HIV/AIDS, and more than 3 million new infections occurred in 2005.


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Arindam said...

Purbachal Ananda Foundation
(Registered Under Societies Registration Act West Bengal XXVI of 1961. S/1L/32097)
Regd. & Secretarial & Communication Office:
2/32, Purbachal, Durgapur-713201, Burdwan, West Bengal, India.
Phone: - +91 343 2552230, 91 0343 6451916

www.pafindia.org purbachalanandafoundation@gmail.com

Help a child build his/her future……..

PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION believes that educational and cultural change in the minds of the people and community leads to a change in the society. The children are the future of the nation, thus it is necessary to invest for their growth and development of families.

Shri Arindam Banerjee,founders of PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION believe that all the programmes should grow under community umbrella and that each programme should have a long-term effect for the purpose to bring changes in the society. The focus is to give a new identity to the disadvantaged children (orphans, children of sex workers, children of convicts, street children and needy rural poor children) and to provide a common platform to introduce them to the society.
Non-Formal Education:

The programme was carried by PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION between 2005-2006 with an aim to motivate and encourage the children of the area towards education. The main aim of the programme was to support those needy children who are unable to attend school and continue their education. We extended educational support for cowherd boys and girls to attend school up to IV standard and gradually sent them for vocational education. A total of 165 children were enrolled under this programme.

After School Assistance Program: The local government school has approximately 100 students. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has taken approval from the school authorities as well as from the local panchayet to conduct classes in the school building between 7 A.M. – 9.30 A.M. daily. The idea is to supplement the education provided by the school and to provide the students with a taste of quality teaching, which they do not receive at school. The objective is to raise the standard of the students and to hopefully instill a taste for learning in their minds. The students are also being provided some Tiffin/refreshments by PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION. Currently 5 paid volunteers of PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION are conducting the classes but in future it will be essential to recruit at least 10 paid, part-time teachers to carry on the project.
Estimated Expenses for the After School Assistance Program:

Number of Teachers Required- 10
Monthly Salary per Teacher – Rs.1000.00
Total Annual Salary for 10 teachers – Rs.1, 20,000.00……… (a)

Educational material @Rs.500.00 per month= Rs.6, 000.00……… (b)

Tiffin expenses @ Rs.2.00 per child per day for 240 days per year – 100 children*Rs.2.00*240 days = Rs.48, 000.00… … …c)

Total Annual Expense for the program
(a)+(b)+(c)= Rs.1, 74,000.00

PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION Children’s and Old age Home:

PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has opened a Children’s Home for 19 children at PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION Ashram, at Village-Purokonda, P.O.: - Tajpur Purokonda, P.S.-Barjora, Dist- Bankura, Pin- 722208, West Bengal, India.

PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has started construction of its children’s home at Purakanda on the land donated by Gauriya Math. One dormitory/dwelling unit has already been constructed (earthen flooring & walls; tin roof). A tube well has been installed and the toilet/sanitary facilities are there. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION gets electrical connection from W B S E B. The project is being supervised by Mr. Arindam Bannerjee (Founder Secretary). A House Mother has been identified and recruited to look after the inmates. Two local persons will be engaged as watchmen who will also cultivate the land belonging to the Children’s Home, so that the inmates may use the produce for internal consumption.

PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has initially taken 19 children under its wings (8 girls + 11 boys). These children are in the 3-7 age groups. Nine of these children are children of sex workers while eleven of them are street children from Kolkata and Durgapur. If the project progresses satisfactorily, then PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION hopes to care for up to 50 such orphan/destitute children in future.

Till now, PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has depended entirely on donations from individuals for its work. However, at this stage a heavy inflow of funds is required to complete the infrastructure of the Home and to secure its running expenses. Talks are on with organizations such as the Rotary Club for sponsorships/donations. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION appeals to all sympathetic individuals and/or organizations for help. We earnestly request you to come and visit the Home at Purakanda – we are sure that you will empathize with PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION’s mission. We need your help and will appreciate any form of assistance in terms of money or essential material, food, clothing, blankets, utensils, furniture etc. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION will also be grateful if doctors and teachers spare some of their valuable time and provide voluntary service at the Home for the children’s medical treatment and education.

Estimated expenses for upbringing of orphan/destitute children:

@ Rs.12, 000.00 per annum per child for 19 children = Rs.2, 28.000 per annum.(This amount is an approximate estimate of food, clothing and medical expenses required per child annually.)

[In addition to the above, we would be immensely grateful for any donations/assistance/sponsorship towards completion of infrastructure at the Home.]

Sponsorship for School- Going Children: PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has identified 50 children of school going age primarily from the “Dom” community of Purakanda and nearby areas, who do not attend school and have not received any formal education. “Dom” is a backward caste that was treated as untouchables in the past and has been uneducated and impoverished for generations. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has spoken to the parents of these children as well as to the local panchayet. The families are willing to educate their children but lack the financial means to do so. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION has undertaken a program to admit these children to the local school and bring them within the formal education stream. PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION will take the responsibility for their education till standard XII. In addition, PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION already has the responsibility of educating the 17 inmates of its Children’s Home.

Estimated Expenses for PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION’s Educational Sponsorship Schemes:
Number of Children – 60
(17 inmates+43 non- inmates)

Annual expense per child on books
And educational accessories – Rs.2, 000.00
Total (Rupees per year for 60 children) = 1, 20,000.00

An Appeal: Till now, PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION is carrying on its activities entirely with donations from well-wishing individuals, and, as expectedly, this would have to continue for the near future as well. While we are making sincere efforts towards receiving some kind of institutional funding, we also appeal to all sympathetic individuals and/or organizations for financial help. We sincerely hope that you will be kind enough to extend a helping hand to our activities by sponsoring one or more of the following activities of PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION
(i) Educational sponsorship for one school-going child for one year INR. 2000 or US $ 50

(ii) Sponsoring one child for one year INR12, 000 or US $ 300

(iii) Sponsoring an aged person for one year INR12, 000 or US $ 300

(iv)Sponsoring a pre-primary educational centre INR 6,000 or US $ 150

(v) Sponsoring book –bank for school books INR 3,000 or US $ 75

(vi)Sponsoring an after-school assistance program /
Abridged course for drop-outs INR 2,000 or US $ 50

(vii) Sponsoring a vocational training program for
A group of 20 women INR 2,000 or US $ 50

(viii) Sponsoring a pre-primary education centre INR 2,000 or US $ 50
How to Send Donations:

All donations are exempted u/s 80G of IT act.

Please send your donation in favor of Purbachal Ananda Foundation U T I Bank LTD, Durgapur (West Bengal), Account No: - 213010100081290 Purbachal Ananda Foundation

You may also directly give a call to Mr. Arindam Banerjee on his mobile no. 91 9233303875.

Philanthropists and kindhearted people are welcome to visit our center to familiarize them selves with the nature of the work PURBACHAL ANANDA FOUNDATION does. Similarly, donors are also welcome to inspect any papers or information related to the above proposal at the Regd. & Secretarial & Communication Office in Durgapur.