Lending Institutions, Health Care, and Human Capital – Assignment Instructions
Use the Internet to research one (1) developing nation of your choice. Your research should include an examination of lending institutions, health care, and human capital.
Write a three to four (3-4) page research paper in which you:
- Explore whether or not funding from international lending institutions like the World Bank and the IMF are helping or hindering the social, economic, or political development of the country that you have selected. Support your response with examples.
- Discuss, with examples, at least four (4) substantive ways in which a healthy population strengthens the economy of the country that you have selected.
- Ascertain the degree to which the leadership of your chosen country has used foreign aid to improve its health care system. Support your response with concrete examples.
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One way for countries to prosper economically is to have a healthy workforce. The companies within a country need to have enough employees who are strong healthy, both mentally and physically, to ensure high performance. Such actions, however, are being challenged by the policies set by the international lending institutions which seem to be acting unfairly on the less fortunate group. This paper analyses the case of Zambia, and how international lending has helped to bring about change, or disaster to the people.
How International Lending Institutions are Hindering the Social, Economic, or Political Development of Zambia
The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) present two leaders in the international financial institutions globally. These are the major lending sources which African countries rely on. However, they use their ability to provide loan, as well as the loans they have already given, as leverage for prescribing policies and also dictating major changes in the African economies (Pettifor, 2007). A reason for this is that the U.S has the largest shares of 17%, while all African countries combined have a share of less than 9% (Wolff, 2013). Therefore, the system requires that the lending banks must always make the needs of the majority shareholders first before the rest.
Whenever developing countries need financial assistance, the only place to go to is to either of these leading institutions. Unfortunately, in return for the service, the countries are forced to adopt “structural adjustment programs” alongside other measures that help to minimize the government spending on some basic services so as to benefit the majority shareholders. For instance, the Zambian government has been expected to reduce the preset trade barriers and maintain their economies so the other countries will have a source of cheap raw material and labor for their corporations (Pettifor, 2007).
Due to these policies given by the lead lending institutions, the average income in Zambia has Reduced drastically, a factor that greatly contributes to the poverty of the continent as well. The same policies have also affected the health of people in the country. The government is expected to reduce spending even on health care and the privatization of certain basic services (Wolff, 2013). The leaders of this country are no longer in control, as the lending institutions have implemented policies that grant them a right to demand changes in systems of leadership and influence their decisions as well.
Substantive Ways In Which A Healthy Population Strengthens The Economy Of Zambia
There are various ways through which a healthy population will strengthen the economy of Zambia. First, when a country has healthy population, the workers within the country will have higher labor productivity due to the fact that they have a more robust mental and physical state compared to those who are suffering from various illnesses (Rodrik, 2014). According to a study conducted on people living in poverty, the greatest concern for most individuals was the health of their home breadwinner. If such a person was to die or become seriously ill, the family would have to go deep in debts to obtain financial support and thus can end up being economically crippled. This shows that healthy people can work harder, with less destructions, to ensure the economy of a country benefits through taxes and other goods exchanges. With good health, most people can secure employment, thus reduce the rates of poverty and unemployment in a country.
Second, a healthy population will mean longer living individuals despite aging. When these aging people are many, and they have well paying employments, they will have the potential of further increasing their retirement savings. These savings are what can be used to invest in physical and human capital, and also for research and development (Senkubuge, Modisenyane & Bishaw, 2014). Such activities will eventually improve the various activities handled, by reducing the time it takes to complete a job, or even the effectiveness of a product. Thus the country will be better equipped to compete with others in the global market and gain economic freedom.
Third, when the population is healthy, the society is stable enough to trigger more returns from other human capital forms, including education and job experience. Therefore, there will be constant improvement in skills, which will also improve the competitive advantage of the workers (Rodrik, 2014). Hence, they will perform even better when engaging in activities that will improve the economy of the country.
Fourth, a healthy population will also lead to a changed society age structure. This usually offers a potentially substantial enhancement to the productive capacity of the economy, even though it is only for a short while (Senkubuge, Modisenyane & Bishaw, 2014).
Has Zambia used Foreign Aid to Improve its Health Care System?
Zambia, just like many other African countries, uses the foreign aid to a high degree to help improve its health care system. There are certain issues that pose a great danger to the health of individuals living in this country. Unfortunately, due to the degree of poverty and lack of suitable resources, these illnesses and situations cannot be contained without the help of foreign aid. This is why Zambia relies on the aid for the provision of tents, in times of disaster and crises; for the funding of drugs and research; and also for the provision of extra medical personnel (Wamboye, Adekola & Sergi, 2014).
Read also The Role of Weak Institutions in Underdevelopment – Research Paper
Despite the economic situation in many African countries, the foreign aid is both beneficial and risky. Countries risk losing control of their decisions to the lending institutions, thus not being able to develop drastically due to unfair economic treatments. They also risk suffering from even worse poverty situations due to debts. On the contrary, the countries can also get the funding they need with no stress at all.
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