A senior United Nations official says corruption across Asia is undermining efforts to fight poverty and reduce income disparities. In a wide ranging interview with VOA, Dr. Noeleen Heyzer, the UN’s executive secretary for the Asia and Pacific Economic and Social Commission, said countries must invest in what she called social protection to ensure economic growth in Asia.

“You know the issue is governance. Because at the end of the day you need economic governance. You need better political governance because to be able to have systems that invest in the social foundations of your communities in order that people can have a better life. And obviously any forms of corruption acts against that.”

The Asian Development Bank recently called for improvements in government accountability as “critical” in Asia to maintain social and political stability.  It said rising corruption was evident in a “deterioration in the quality and credibility of national political and economic institutions.”

A World Bank Institute report warned of a retreat in accountability and political stability in Asia between 2008 and 2009. In India, for example, the World Bank found only 40 percent of government funds allocated for poverty-related programs actually reached the poor. The remainder, the Bank said, was lost because of  bad administration and corruption.

Dr. Heyzer warned that despite recent regional economic gains, widening income disparities needed to be addressed by governments through improved social protection programs.

via UN Asia Pacific Chief: Corruption Feeding Poverty, Halting Social Development | Economy | English.

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  1. Most of the communities in the entire Indian sub-continent(such as Bengali) are succumbed in ‘Culture of Poverty'(Oscar Lewis), irrespective of class or economic strata, lives in pavement or apartment. Nobody is genuinely regret ed or ashamed of the deep-rooted corruption, decaying general quality of life, worst Politico-admin system, bad work place, weak mother language, continuous consumption of common social space (mental as well as physical, both). We are becoming fathers & mothers only by self-procreation, mindlessly & blindfold(supported by some lame excuses). Simply depriving their(the children) fundamental rights of a decent, caring society, fearless & dignified living. Do not ever look for any other positive alternative behaviour (values) to perform human way of parenthood, i.e. deliberately co-parenting children those are born out of ignorance, extreme poverty. It seems that all of us are being driven only by the very animal instinct. If the Bengali people ever be able to bring that genuine freedom (from vicious cycle of ‘poverty’) in their own attitude, involve themselves in ‘Production of Space’ (Henri Lefebvre), an intense attachment with the society at large – one different pathway has to create to overcome inherent ‘hopeless’ mindset; decent, rich Politics will definitely come up. – Siddhartha Bandyopadhyay, 16/4, Girish Banerjee Lane, Howrah -711101, India.

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