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F&D logo
A quarterly magazine of the IMF
  December 2000
Volume 37, Number 4
How We Can Help the Poor


Broadening the Agenda for Poverty Reduction: Opportunity, Empowerment, Security
Nora Lustig and Nicholas Stern
Experience from the 1990s has led to a poverty reduction agenda that, in addition to promoting economic growth, addresses ingrained inequalities, institutional failures, social barriers, and other risks.

Point of View
Growth Versus Poverty Reduction: A Hollow Debate

Dani Rodrik

Supporting Poverty Reduction in Low-Income Developing Countries: The International Community's Response
Masood Ahmed and Hugh Bredenkamp
Despite developing countries' improved economic growth rates during the 1990s, poverty has remained firmly entrenched. How can developing countries, international financial institutions, and developed countries work together more effectively to reduce the incidence of poverty?

Progress Toward the International Development Goals
Sanjeev Gupta, Brian Hammond, Richard Leete, and Eric Swanson

Poverty Is Powerlessness and Voicelessness
Deepa Narayan

How the Poor Can Have a Voice in Government Policy
Caroline M. Robb
Development thinking has changed significantly in recent years. Policymakers have recognized the ability of the poor to make a valuable contribution to the analysis of poverty and are consulting them directly. This new participatory approach has resulted in a broader definition of poverty and better-informed public policies that are more responsive to the needs of the poor.

Rural Poverty in Developing Countries
Mahmood Hasan Khan
How does rural poverty develop, what accounts for its persistence, and what specific measures can be taken to eliminate or mitigate it?

Raising Growth and Investment in Sub-Saharan Africa: What Can Be Done?
Ernesto Hernández-Catá
Sub-Saharan Africa must increase economic growth to reduce poverty and improve living standards. This article discusses some obstacles to growth in the region, as well as some policy actions that would improve its prospects.

Capacity Building in Africa: The Role of International Financial Institutions
Saleh M. Nsouli
This article reviews the evidence on the importance of domestic institutions for economic growth and examines the role of international financial institutions, and particularly the IMF and its training, in capacity building in Africa.

Food Production or Food Aid? An African Challenge
Willy H. Verheye
Food production is not keeping pace with Africa's rapidly growing needs. Aid programs in the 1970s and 1980s were considered a temporary solution to the most appalling famines, but Africa's food shortage appears to be worsening. This paper discusses the reasons for this situation and ways to address it.

Debt Relief for Poor Countries
Robert Powell
Efforts to lighten the debt burden of poor countries go back at least two decades. The most recent, the enhanced HIPC Initiative, will provide faster and deeper debt relief to these countries while encouraging them to use the funds saved to fight poverty and raise living standards.

How Oil, Gas, and Mining Projects Can Contribute to Development
Kathryn McPhail
Oil, gas, and mining projects could be a boon for developing host countries, yet their environmental and social costs often outweigh their benefits. Partnerships between project developers, governments, and local communities are crucial for projects to have a lasting development impact.

Financial Focus

Toward a New Global Banking Standard: The Basel Committee's Proposals
Cem Karacadag and Michael W. Taylor
The Basel Committee's new capital framework proposals will have important implications for developed and developing countries alike. Although many details remain to be worked out, it is not too early for countries to start preparing for the proposals' implementation.

Other Topics

The Role of Short-Term Debt in Recent Crises
Uri Dadush, Dipak Dasgupta, and Dilip Ratha
Short-term debt owed by developing countries to foreign banks rose from $176 billion to $454 billion between 1990 and 1997. This rapid buildup of short-term debt was a key factor in the financial crises that rocked Mexico in 1994-95, East Asia in 1997-98, and Russia and Brazil in 1998-99.


From the Editor

Book Reviews

Power and Prosperity: Outgrowing Communist and Capitalist Dictatorships by Mancur Olson—William Easterly

New Markets, New Opportunities? Economic and Social Mobility in a Changing World by Nancy Birdsall and Carol Graham (editors)—Bruno S. Sergi

Central Banking in Theory and Practice: A Small State Perspective by Courtney N. Blackman—Simon Cueva and Samuel Itam

L'économie palestinienne: De la dépendance à l'autonomie by Jacques Bendelac—Oussama Kanaan


Index 2000