Les pauvres d’Asie à l’abandon

NEW YORK – Plus de la moitié de la population de l’Asie – 1,8 milliard de personnes – vit avec moins de 2 dollars par jour ; plus de 600 millions d’entre eux essaient de survivre avec moins d’un dollar par jour. Avec la flambée des prix des aliments, la plus grande partie des “travailleurs pauvres” d’Asie, qui se débattent déjà sur des terres dégradées, dans des sweatshops, dans la rue et chez eux, risquent une plus grande destitution encore.

Pourtant, la Banque asiatique de développement (BAD) – institution dont la mission est de réduire la pauvreté – a approuvé le mois dernier une nouvelle stratégie commerciale (ADB Long Term Strategic Framework 2008-2020, programme stratégique à long terme) au silence inquiétant quant à l’importance de l’emploi et de la protection sociale des pauvres. Une poignée de fonctionnaires influents de la BAD, qui bénéficient de salaires généreux, d’une retraite assurée, d’une couverture santé complète, de logements subventionnés et dont les enfants sont scolarisés, ont apparemment décidé que financer des programmes de logements, de santé, de nutrition et de protection de l’enfance n’était pas une priorité. Ils ne considèrent pas non plus que la réforme foncière, les services pour l’emploi ni les retraites pour tous les Asiatiques constituent une priorité.

À la place, ces responsables ont décidé de recentrer les opérations de la BAD sur trois secteurs : la croissance économique globale, la croissance écologiquement durable et l’intégration régionale, avec un accent particulièrement appuyé sur le développement du secteur privé. La BAD abandonne le soutien public si essentiel au développement social.

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