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UN DESA Releases Report on the Global Social Crisis

UN DESAJune 2011: The UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN DESA) has released the "Report on the World Social Situation 2011: The Global Social Crisis," a biannual flagship publication on social development issues.

This year's report focuses on the ongoing adverse social impacts of the 2008-2009 financial and economic crisis and underscores the need for inclusive social policies. The report notes that many governments neglected the social implications of the recent global crisis and recommends the need to prioritize social investments in recovery programmes as permanent measures, not only as temporary measures of national crisis response. The report indicates that the increased levels of poverty, hunger and unemployment will continue to affect billions of people for years to come.

It notes that the effects of the financial and economic crisis were compounded by the rise in food prices in 2007 and 2008. It also notes that, with the global food production growing slower than before and food being used to produce animal feed and biofuels, food prices will continue to be high. Shortages in food supply will be increasingly affected by deforestation and climate change, which will increase the incidence of fires and floods, and exacerbate water-supply problems. The report provides a set of policy recommendations to boost food security, including the training on sustainable land and water management to farmers, and to improve property rights and land tenure, targeting women in particular, who are responsible for producing a large share of the food in most poor countries.

The report recommends that governments should take into account the potential social implications of their economic policies and consequences for poverty, employment, nutrition, health and education, which can adversely affect long-term sustainable development.

It highlights that the crisis can create an opportunity for achieving social progress by ensuring more inclusive and sustained growth in line with the three pillars of sustainable development (economic development, social progress and environmental sustainability). [Publication: The Report on the World Social Situation 2011: The Global Social Crisis]