Call to integrate social and economic policies


“The economic crisis reminds us that it is essential for people to be healthy, educated, adequately housed and well fed to be more productive and better able to contribute to society,” said Jomo Kwame Sundaram, DESA’s Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development. “Social policy should be an integral part of economic policy.”

The Report on the World Social Situation: The Global Social Crisis, published by DESA and released today, reveals that many goverments are not paying enough attention to the social implications of their economic policies geared towards recovery from the economic crisis.

There is a special emphasis on how the disconnection between social and economic policies often have dire consequences for the population in reference to health, nutrition and education, negatively affecting economic growth.

According to the report, recovery has been uneven and continues to be fragile, with a wide range of negative social impacts lingering from the economic downturn. Poverty and unemployment have for instance been linked to crime, gender-based violence, substance abuse and mental illness.

The report also states that the effects of the crisis in areas including health and education, will be fully evident in the long term. The increased levels of poverty, hunger and unemployment due to the global crisis is expected to continue, affecting billions of people for years to come.

It moreover stresses that social protection must be looked upon as an ongoing investment to promote sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth. Cutting social expenditures may worsen and prolong negative impacts from the crises. The importance of creating jobs is also underscored.

“There is renewed realization that social policy considerations, especially productive employment, must be given greater importance within economic policy,” Mr. Jomo said. “The disconnect between economic policies and their social consequences can create a vicious circle of slow growth and poor social progress”.

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