By Aurelio Menéndez, Economic Development Institute (Washington, D.C.), International Development Centre (Canada), USAID Thailand
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The participants from Africa emphasized the need for governments to facilitate the expansion of the informal sector, endorse the increased involvement by community-based organizations and NGOs,2 and foster a new mix of infrastructure services that would focus on more affordable services (considering appropriate technologies and including services critical to poor households such as wood fuel and farmland). The representatives from African countries particularly stressed that a gender perspective, acknowledging women's needs and contributions, is essential in designing more effective poverty-alleviation strategies.
0 percent during the 1970s (World Resources 1988, page 41). In Africa, average per capita income since 1980 is estimated to have fallen by one-fourth (Jolly 1988, page 163). On the bright side, some dynamic exporting countries in Asia, as a result of accelerated GDP growth and a decline in population growth, have shown increases in the rate of growth of GDP per capita in the 1980s. Financial limitations have had other implications. As governments do not have as many resources as they would like to attend to the needs of all the people, they have tended to yield to groups with a higher political leverage, thus serving the wealthy and middle class, substantially leaving out the poor to fend for themselves in spite of the fact that they are the largest percentage of the population.
The participants underscored factors inhibiting effective, efficient, and equitable implementation of particular policies geared toward alleviating poverty, including legal and institutional constraints, the inability of the poor to get credit, the lack of consideration of gender issues, the need to address environmental issues, and the lack of up-to-date and reliable data. Participants emphasized that cost recovery mechanisms for infrastructure services were necessary to achieve sustainable interventions.
Access to basic infrastructure by the urban poor, Page 75 by Aurelio Menéndez, Economic Development Institute (Washington, D.C.), International Development Centre (Canada), USAID Thailand