Thursday, January 17, 2008


The inequalities of capitalism are worldwide, as this recent example from Peru shows.
"Kicking a football around a dusty lot, Judin Quicano looks like any other boy of four. But stand him against a standard growth chart and he is almost a head shorter than he should be at his age. ...Health officials say he is among nearly 30% of Peruvian children in his age group who suffer from chronic malnutrition. The figure rises to 90% in such places as Lliupapuquio, a village in Apurimac department in Peru's heavily Indian southern Andes where Judin lives. The picture is similar in neighbouring Bolivia and Ecuador. What makes the stunting of children's lives and bodies more shocking in Peru's case is that the country is enjoying a boom. The GDP expanded by 8.3% last year alone, and is some 45% bigger today than it was in 2001 ... Although governments have increased spending on social programmes, they have done little to improve their effectiveness. In Apurimac, majors complain of duplication, corruption and lack of local control. But the bigghest problem is that economic growth is not reaching many parts of the Andes. Official figures put poverty in Apurimac at 74.8 in 2006, having increased slightly since 2004." (Economist, 10 January) RD

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