Saturday February 16, 2019

India can Save $5 Billion in Healthcare by Eliminating Child Marriage, Adolescent Pregnancy

The study conducted by World Bank and ICRW not only highlights the problem but also serves an economic dimension to the problem which could be an incentive for the economy

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Child Marriage
The risks of child marriage. Wikimedia

July 15, 2017: Indians could be saving an amount of $5 billion (Rs 33,500 crore) in health care over a period of seven years, according to a new report by the World Bank and International Center for Research on Women (ICRW), if it eliminates child marriage and early childbirth. This amount is equivalent to the country’s 2017-18 higher education budget of Rs 33,329 crore.

The report concluded that $17 billion (Rs 1.14 lakh crore) could be saved globally across 18 countries by the year 2030 of which India accounts for $10 billion (62%) due to its large population. The basis of the study is quite rational as prohibiting early marriage and births reduces population growth, which in turn reduces pressure on government budgets.

Lower population growth across 106 countries from ending child marriage can lead to $566 billion savings per year in 2030.

ALSO READ: Sexual Exploitation of Women and Girls in Kenya in Return for Food

Child brides face violence, abuse and exposure to HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases (STD), are more likely to drop out of school and give birth at an early age.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), adolescent pregnancy can also lead to several health problems such as anaemia, malaria, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections, postpartum haemorrhage and mental disorders.

The proportion of girls marrying before legal age increased from 1.78% in 2001 to 2.45% in 2011 in urban India and declined from 2.75% to 2.43% in rural India over the same period. Furthermore, 70 districts spread across 13 states reported: “high incidence” of early marriages, which account for 21% of the country’s child marriages, as reported by IndiaSpend on June 9, 2017.

Another study carried by India Spend in 2015 showed that nearly 17 million Indian children between the ages of 10 and 19 are married.  Six million children are born from them, which constitutes 47% of India’s population currently married. Of these married children, 76% (12.7 million) are girls.

The study conducted by World Bank and ICRW not only highlights the problem but also serves an economic dimension to the problem which could be an incentive for the economy as a whole, if eradicated completely.

– Prepared by a Staff Writer of Newsgram

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After World Bank’s Head Quits, Donald Trump Likely To Determine The Successor

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions

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Trump, U.S.
Donald Trump. VOA

World Bank President Jim Yong Kim has announced that he is stepping down as the head of the premier anti-poverty institution putting the likely choice of its future leadership in the hands of US President Donald Trump, a sceptic of international development.

Trump’s role is expected reinvigorate challenges to Washington’s monopoly on appointing the Bank’s head.

Announcing his decision on Monday, Kim said in a tweet: “It’s been the greatest privilege I could have ever imagined to lead the dedicated staff of this great institution to bring us closer to a world that is finally free of poverty.”

Kim, 59, who is dropping out 19 months into his second term on February 1, would be joining a private company and focus on infrastructure investments in developing countries, the Bank said.

The Bank’s CEO Kristalina Georgieva will become the interim president till a successor to Kim is appointed.

As the largest share-holder, the US by tradition appoints the head of the Bank, while Europeans determine the chief of the International Monetary Fund.

Kim was nominated for the job by former President Barack Obama in 2012.

Before Trump’s election, Kim was hastily re-appointed in September 2016 to a second term that began in July 2017 with an eye on pre-empting a possible Trump nominee getting the job.

Now, however, Trump will get an opportunity to nominate the Bank’s head.

Trump’s role will resurrect and strengthen challenges to the post-World War II model of the leadership of the 189-member bank that has always been determined by the US .

Already the US nominee was challenged for the first time in 2012 by two contenders.

Trump, U.S.
World Bank head quits, Trump likely to determine successor. VOA

Colombian economist Jose Antonio Ocampo Gaviria eventually withdrew from the race, while Nigeria’s then-Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala lost when the Bank’s directors rubber-stamped Kim’s appointment.

Now there will be robust demands for reconsidering the US leadership of the Bank and stronger non-American contenders for the job.

Kim, a South Korea-born US citizen, was an unusual leader for the Bank: He was a medical doctor by training, a specialist in public health and an academic with a Harvard doctorate in anthropology who had led the Ivy League Dartmouth College.

But his background in health was a plus for the Bank’s mission of fighting poverty and promoting development.

Under his leadership, the Bank adopted in tandem with the UN the goal of ending extreme poverty by 2030 and focusing on the bottom 40 per cent of the population in the developing world.

The Bank’s International Development Association, which funds programmes in the least developed countries, achieved two record replenishments during his tenure, the last one in 2016 for $75 billion.

Also Read- Government Introduces Quota Bill For Upper Castes in Lok Sabha

Last April, the Bank also increased its capital by $13 billion with the unexpected support of the Trump administration.

Kim also pushed the Bank’s cooperation with the private sector for financing development in the developing world, particularly in the areas of climate change and infrastructure.

China, though a part of the World Bank, has thrown a challenge to it by setting up its own development banking institutions.

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), founded in 2016 is one of those institutions and several countries including India, Germany, Britain and South Korea have joined it. (IANS)