A wide gap has opened between the most generous aid givers and the rest of the industrialized nations. Norway, Sweden and Denmark all gave more than 1% of Gross National Product (GNP) in aid during 1992. Apart from the Netherlands, no other OECD country reached even the 0.7% aid target agreed in the 1960s. The average from the industrialized nations was just 0.34%. In 1992, Norwegians gave the most aid, 1.11% of GNP or US$288 per person. This is approximately twice as much per person as the French, Germans or Canadians, three times as much as the Japanese, four times as much as the Italians, five times as much as the British, and six times as much as the USA. If all countries were to reach the target aid figure of 0.7% of GNP, an additional $67,000 million a year would be made available, enough to eradicate the worst aspects of world poverty within a decade. Recent opinion polls in 11 European countries show that a significant majority of voters are in favour of increasing aid levels.
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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