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International Monetary Fund

Abstract

In most parts of the world, people are healthier and living longer, thanks to improved health services and living conditions and the more widespread use of immunization, antibiotics, and better contraceptives. Although this trend is likely to continue, hopes are fading in some regions where progress slowed or stopped in the 1990s, primarily as a result of the AIDS epidemic. Indeed, life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa declined from 50 to 46 years between 1990 and 2001. Moreover, most regions of the developing world will not, at the current pace, reach the Millennium Development Goals for health by 2015—including reducing child and maternal mortality and combating HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases. Here, we give a snapshot of changes in the world’s health and demographic conditions, and, in the following pages, four articles explore the importance of good health for economic development.

Lyn Squire

Abstract

If developing countries face up to the realities of AIDS and act quickly, millions of lives can be saved. The following three articles on AIDS, written in 1998, look at the epidemic from an economic perspective and outline priorities for developing countries in preventing the spread of HIV and helping people already infected.

Mead Over

Abstract

The AIDS epidemic is straining the limited resources of many developing country governments. How can governments provide support to those affected by AIDS without neglecting others in need or abandoning important development goals?

Prabhat Jha, Joy de Beyer, and Peter S. Heller

Abstract

About 1.1 billion people worldwide smoke, and, with current trends, the number is expected to rise to more than 1.6 billion by 2025. In high-income countries, the number of smokers has, overall, been declining for decades, although it continues to rise in some population groups. In low- and middle-income countries, by contrast, cigarette consumption has been increasing.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Maria Teresa Guin-Siu, and Mr. Luc E. Leruth

Abstract

The Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative, launched in 1996, was the first comprehensive effort by the international community to reduce the external debt of the world’s poorest countries. It went beyond earlier debt-relief initiatives in that it included debt from multilateral creditors like the IMF and the World Bank and placed debt relief within an overall framework of poverty reduction. Enhancements made to this Initiative in 1999 further strengthened the links among debt relief, poverty reduction, and social policies.

Mr. Sanjeev Gupta, Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Maria Teresa Guin-Siu, and Mr. Luc E. Leruth

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Second Review under the Extended Credit Facility, Request for Waiver for Nonobservance of Performance Criterion, Request for Modification of Performance Criteria, and Financing Assurances Review-Press Release; Staff Report; and Statement by the Executive Director for the Democratic Republic of S�o Tom�

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

Sub-Saharan Africa is contending with an unprecedented health and economic crisis—one that, in just a few months, has jeopardized years of hard-won development gains and upended the lives and livelihoods of millions.