At present, there are 48 countries designated by the United Nations as “least developed countries” (LDCs). These are: Afghanistan, Angola, Bangladesh, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Haiti, Kiribati, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Lesotho, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Myanmar, Nepal, Niger, Rwanda, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Timor-Leste, Togo, Tuvalu, Uganda, United Republic of Tanzania, Vanuatu, Yemen and Zambia.
Accounts by journalists of war in several countries of sub-Saharan Africa in the 1990s have raised concern that ethnic cleavages and overlapping religious and racial affiliations may widen inequalities in health and survival among ethnic groups throughout the region, particularly among children. Paradoxically, there has been no systematic examination of ethnic inequality in child survival chances across countries in the region. This paper uses survey data collected in the 1990s in 11 countries ( Central African Republic , Cote d Ivoire , Ghana, Kenya , Mali , Namibia , Niger , Rwanda , Senegal , Uganda and Zambia) to examine whether ethnic inequality in child mortality has been present and spreading in sub-Saharan Africa since 1980s. The focus was on one or two groups in each country which may have experienced distinct child health ans survival chances , compared to the rest of the national population as a result of their geographical location .
Background: Reducing health inequalities is an important part of the agenda of health policymakers globally. Studies of health inequalities have revealed large variations in average health status across social, economic, and other groups. However, no studies have been conducted on the distribution of the risk of ill-health across individuals.
Methods: We use an extended beta-binomial model to estimate the distribution the risk of death in children under the age of two in the 50 developing countries where data from a Demographic and Health Survey are available. Inequality in these distributions is measured by the WHO health inequality index.
Findings: At the same level of average child mortality, inequality in the risk of death across children can vary considerably across countries. Representing the entire distribution of risk with an inequality measure involves normative choices that we delineate and formalise with quantitative measures. The results are not very sensitive to the choice of measure. Liberia, Mozambique and the Central African Republic have the largest inequalities in child survival, while Colombia, the Philippines and Kazakhstan have the lowest among the 50 countries measured. Interpretation: Inequality estimates should be routinely reported alongside average levels of health, as they reveal important information about the distribution of health in populations. Measuring inequality with individual level data, rather than quantifying differences in average levels of health across social groups, enables meaningful comparisons of inequality across countries and analyses of the determinants of inequality. This approach should be extended to the measurement of inequalities in healthy life expectancy.
This paper reviews evidence on the impact of fuel subsidy reform on household welfare in developing countries. On average, the burden of subsidy reform is neutrally distributed across income groups; a $0.25 decrease in the per liter subsidy results in a 6 percent decrease in income for all groups. More than half of this impact arises from the indirect impact on prices of other goods and services consumed by households. Fuel subsidies are a costly approach to protecting the poor due to substantial benefit leakage to higher income groups. In absolute terms, the top income quintile captures six times more in subsidies than the bottom. Issues that need to be addressed when undertaking subsidy reform are also discussed, including the need for a new approach to fuel pricing in many countries.