El abandono de los pobres de Asia

NUEVA YORK – Más de la mitad de la población de Asia –1.800.000 millones de personas– vive con menos de dos dólares al día; más de 600 millones de ellas intentan sobrevivir con menos de un dólar al día. Como ahora los precios se están poniendo por las nubes, la mayoría de los “trabajadores pobres” de Asia, que ya están luchando en tierras degradadas, en fábricas en las que se los explota, en las calles y en los hogares, corren riesgo de caer en una mayor indigencia.

Sin embargo, el Banco Asiático de Desarrollo, institución cuya misión es la de reducir la pobreza, aprobó el mes pasado una nueva estrategia institucional (Marco Estratégico a Largo Plazo 2008-2020 del BAD) que guarda un silencio siniestro sobre la importancia del empleo y la protección social para los pobres. Un puñado de burócratas influyentes del BAD con salarios elevados, pensiones garantizadas, seguro completo de enfermedad, vivienda subvencionada y educación para sus hijos, ha decidido, al parecer, que la financiación de la vivienda subvencionada, y los programas de salud, nutrición y de protección de la infancia no son prioridades. Tampoco considera que la reforma agraria, los servicios de empleo o las pensiones sean prioridades para todos los asiáticos.

En cambio, esos funcionarios han decidido replantear las operaciones del BAD en tres sectores: crecimiento económico no excluyente, crecimiento medioambientalmente sostenible e integración regional, con insistencia particular en el desarrollo el sector privado. El BAD va a abandonar el decisivo apoyo público al desarrollo social.

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