Exogenous economic conditions hindering development
All countries, but particularly developing ones, are vulnerable to violent disturbances in world, regional or bilateral economic relations and conditions. Import costs and export earnings vary unfavourably with exchange rate fluctuations, the volume of trade is negatively impacted by recession, and world interest rates and inflation may be susceptible to erratic but persistent increases. Other foreign constraints on domestic conditions are oil price increases and disturbances due to wars or hostile actions. The inadequacies of developing countries' reserves are apparent when externally caused crises emerge.
The reasons for the difficulties of some countries are not purely endogenous, but, in large measure exogenous. Poor countries cannot prosper because the odds are clearly stacked against them. The international environment in which they must operate is not conducive to their success. Because of the protectionist measures, many are effectively precluded from any significant participation in the world trading system. At the same time, the poor, low- and middle-income countries are overburdened by debt and denied the financial assistance which they need to escape from their prisons of poverty.
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.
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