Archive for February 4th, 2015

04/02/2015

Greece — the Cruel Barbarity of International Finance or a Marshall Plan?

Human Wrongs Watch

By Tony Robinson*, Pressenza

3 February 2015 — How can it be that when a country is in financial difficulty, “Market Forces” say that a country has to pay higher interest to borrow money? If there were any international solidarity a country should have to pay less interest when it is in financial difficulty, or even no interest, or at the very least it should pay the same as anyone else.

Greece: the cruel barbarity of international finance or a Marshall Plan?

Post-War Germany: A line of people with baggage in front of a pile of building rubble. (Image by US government archives) | Source: Pressenza

Taking the example of Greece, her bonds today were trading at 11.4% for a ten year bond, whereas German government bonds were trading at 0.31%.

Bonds are essentially loans. A country issues a bond (debt) and an investor buys it. The rate of interest is agreed by the “Market”.

The investor gives their money to the bond issuer and the issuer uses the money for what they like, either it can be to finance long term development projects which might generate a profitable source of income, or it might be for short term needs, like paying salaries of public sector employees.

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04/02/2015

Human Development: 'Work -Rather than a Job- Is the Relevant Concept'

Human Wrongs Watch

By Selim Jahan*
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3 February 2015 — From a human development perspective, work, rather than jobs or employment is the relevant concept. 
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Work

Source: UNDP

A job is a narrow concept with a set of pre-determined time-bound assigned tasks or activities, in an input-output framework with labour as input and a commodity or service as output. Yet, jobs do not encompass creative work (e.g. the work of a writer or a painter), which go beyond defined tasks; they do not account for unpaid care work; they do not focus on voluntary work.
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Work thus is a broader concept, which encompasses jobs, but goes beyond by including the dimensions mentioned above, all of which are left out of the job framework, but are critical for human development.
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Work is the means for unleashing human potential, creativity, innovation and spirits. It is essential to make human lives productive, worthwhile and meaningful. It enables people to earn a living, gives them a means to participate in society, provides them with security and gives them a sense of dignity. Work is thus inherently and intrinsically linked to human development.

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04/02/2015

80% of World's Wastewater Discharged Untreated

Human Wrongs Watch

Around 70 per cent of industrial discharge in developing countries goes untreated | Source: UNEP

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With urban populations estimated to double in the next four decades, and low-income countries possessing only 8 per cent of the required capacity to treat wastewater effectively, Wastewater Management, A UN-Water Analytical Brief, produced by the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and UN-Habitat, on behalf of UN-Water, describes the damage being done to ecosystems and biodiversity as ‘dire’ and warns of the threat wastewater will increasingly pose to human health, economic activity, and water security if left unaddressed.*

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