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Well UN, In case you haven’t noticed your top contributing countries are going through their own financial difficulties too. So what are you going to do?


Well UN, In case you haven’t noticed your top contributing countries are going through their own financial difficulties too. So what are you going to do?

UN hit with cash demand over Haiti cholera

The United Nations has been hit with a demand for hundreds of millions of dollars in reparations because of a year-old cholera outbreak that has killed more than 6,700 Haitians.

Donations to Help Haiti Exceed $528-Million, Chronicle Tally Finds

The demand was made on Tuesday on behalf of more than 5,000 Haitian cholera victims and their families in a petition filed at UN headquarters in New York by the Boston-based Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti.

How much does the UN cost?

The regular budget of the UN is nearly $1.9 billion per year. It pays for UN activities, staff and basic infrastructure but not peacekeeping operations, which have a separate budget. All States of the UN are obligated by the Charter – an international treaty – to pay a portion of the budget. Each State’s contribution is calculated on the basis of its share of the world economy.
How much does the entire UN system spend each year?

Top 10 UN Contributors
The UN system spends some $15 billion a year, taking into account the United Nations, UN peacekeeping operations, the programmes and funds, and the specialized agencies, but excluding the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD). Around half of this amount comes from voluntary contributions from Member States, the rest from mandatory assessments on those States.
The United Nations and its agencies, funds and programmes – mainly the UN Development Programme, the World Food Programme, the UN Children’s Fund and the UN Population Fund – spend some $10 billion a year on operational activities for development, mostly for economic, social and humanitarian programmes to help the world’s poorest countries. In addition, the World Bank, the IMF and IFAD provide billions more annually in loans that help to eradicate poverty, foster development and stabilize the world economy.

File photo of homeless men in central Tokyo. A record 2.05 million people were living on welfare benefits in Japan

Japan sees record number of welfare recipients

A record 2.05 million people were living on welfare benefits in Japan in July, beating the previous record set 60 years ago in the aftermath of World War II, the government said Wednesday.  The report released by the Health, Labour and Welfare Ministry said 2,050,495 people received benefits during the month, breaking the previous highest monthly average of 2,046,646 marked in 1951 when Japan started recording the data.A ministry official said that the latest numbers reflected Japan’s economic doldrums and a rapidly greying society.

Chinese Economy Slows

China’s Economy on the Brink of Collapse

China’s economy is on a dangerous track and may soon experience a crisis worse than the Europeandebt crisis, Chinese economists say.  Cheng said within a year China could experience a crisis worse than the European debt crisis. “Actually, a financial crisis has already erupted in China,” he said.
Chen Zhifei, an economics professor at New York’s City University told New Tang Dynasty TV that the rapid drop in both home and land sales will lead to drastic reductions in local governments’ land revenues, and local governments will make up the loss through taxation.  Such taxation would lead to mass protests and social instability as was seen recently in Huzhou of eastern China’s Zhejiang Province where a mass protest against taxation attracted worldwide attention, Chen said.

In Mexico, the weakening of the nation’s peso (Ps) versus the US dollar gave Pemex, the state-owned producer, some space initially to increase prices without losing competitiveness. Pemex  raised prices by 11% in the August/September period. However, further declines in ethylene costs had forced Pemex to reduce polyethylene (PE) prices by as much as 5% in October, under pressure from cheaper US resins.  Indelpro , Mexico’s only polypropylene (PP) producer, has reduced prices by 14 cents/lb in October to match the decline in feedstock propylene.  The Mexican peso has since recovered after its initial sharp decline against the dollar. It has stabilized in the Ps13.0013.50 range, where most economic observers predict it will stay in coming months. It will take a long time or unusual circumstances for the peso to return to its earlier level of Ps11.50 against the dollar.

Most of the unemployed no longer receive benefits

The ranks of the poor would also rise. The Census Bureau says unemployment benefits kept 3.2 million people from slipping into poverty last year. It defines poverty as annual income below $22,314 for a family of four.  Yet for a growing share of the unemployed, a vote in Congress to extend the benefits to 99 weeks is irrelevant. They’ve had no job for more than 99 weeks. They’re no longer eligible for benefits.
With the continuing toxic effects of the global economic crisis that started in the United States in 2008, America now has an estimated 50 million people – around a quarter of its population – living in poverty.  We are talking here of 50 million people who are exposed to hunger, unemployment, poor standards of living and little to no access to health are.  And this is in a country that has over the past decade spent a whooping US$2 trillion on starting wars that it should not have concerned itself with, and still spending billions today on other such wars.   Is the United States trying to tell us that it would rather spend billions on ‘helping’ people in other countries effect regime change than use that money to feed people?
Apart from that claim being laughable, it would be interesting to know what the millions of hungry, unemployed, homeless and sick Americans think about the priorities that their own government has.   Nearly 46 million people received food stamps in August, a record total. That figure could grow as more people lose unemployment benefits.
David Cameron announced yesterday that those on Jobseeker’s Allowance will be expected to do 30 hours a week of community work for six months. Into the habit of getting up in the morning and doing a useful day’s work, rather than sitting around hoovering up state handouts.  Those who refuse to comply with the rules could see their benefits stripped away.
3.5 million children living in poverty in the UK. It is one of the worst child poverty rates in the industrialised world, and successive governments continue to struggle to bring it into line. So who are these children, and where are they living? Under-represented, under-nourished and often under the radar, 3.5 million children should be given a voice. And this powerful film does just that.  Eight-year-old Courtney, 10-year-old Paige and 11-year-old Sam live in different parts of the UK.
Mr Cameron told MPs on the Commons Liaison Committee that he wants to reform the benefits system because it encourages people to take something for nothing.  Ministers have been shocked to see research that shows some people claiming out of work benefits currently spent as little as eight minutes a week actually looking for work.
In exchange they are able to pocket £67.50 a week – or £53.40 for those aged 16 to 24.  The scheme is reminiscent of controversial ‘workfare’ schemes in the United States, where benefits are simply cut off altogether in some states after people have been claiming for a year or more.

Poverty seen in Venice, Italy

  • Donations to Aid Haiti Exceed $438-Million - January 25, 2010
  • Donations to Help Haiti Exceed $560-Million as of January 29 - January 29, 2010
  • Donations to Aid Haiti Exceed $210-Million - January 16, 2010
  • Donations to Aid Haiti Set New Text Records - January 15, 2010

Trade agreements should be one part of economic policy; fighting inequality should be another.

It has been more than 20 years since Canada first signed a free-trade agreement with the United States, and few will deny that the Canadian economy has been better for it. In spite of the recent recession, on the whole Canadians are significantly wealthier than they were two decades ago.
But the increased prosperity has not reached everyone. The gap between the rich and the poor in Canada has grown steadily. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development recently reported that, among its members, only Germany has seen a greater increase in the overall inequality of household earnings over the last decade and a half.
Fortunately, the government need not look far to find a way to preserve economic growth without exacerbating inequality. A recent Senate report on poverty, housing, and homelessness, co-authored by Conservative Sen. Hugh Segal, offers a number of legitimate recommendations for a way ahead, including the establishment of a basic annual income based on a negative income tax.
The report’s non-partisan analysis is clear: “Poverty costs us all. Poverty expands health-care costs, policing burdens, and diminished educational outcomes. This in turn depresses productivity, labour force flexibility, life spans and economic expansion, and social progress, all of which takes place at huge cost to taxpayers, federal and provincial treasuries, and the robust potential of the Canadian consumer economy.”

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