Uniformly low prices throughout the education and health sector imply that high-cost services are much more subsidized than low-cost ones. The relatively poor therefore have little access to those high-cost services however. Contrary to policy, the poorest are not only denied a greater share, but they often get less than their proportionate share. In education, for example, subsidies for higher education are much greater than at the lower levels. Thus the very small percentage of the population able to gain access to higher education receives a large share of the education budget. Moreover, among these few, the rich are over-represented. The distribution of public health expenditures is also skewed in many countries. Most health facilities are in urban areas, where household incomes are on average higher.
The Encyclopedia of World Problems and Human Potential is a collaboration between UIA and Mankind 2000, started in 1972. It is the result of an ambitious effort to collect and present information on the problems with which humanity is confronted, as well as the challenges such problems pose to concept formation, values and development strategies. Problems included are those identified in international periodicals but especially in the documents of some 60,000 international non-profit organizations, profiled in the Yearbook of International Organizations.
The Encyclopedia includes problems which such groups choose to perceive and act upon, whether or not their existence is denied by others claiming greater expertise. Indeed such claims and counter-claims figure in many of the problem descriptions in order to reflect the often paralyzing dynamics of international debate. In the light of the interdependence demonstrated among world problems in every sector, emphasis is placed on the need for approaches which are sufficiently complex to encompass the factions, conflicts and rival worldviews that undermine collective initiative towards a promising future.
Non-profit, apolitical, independent, and non-governmental in nature, the UIA has been a pioneer in the research, monitoring and provision of information on international organizations, international associations and their global challenges since 1907.