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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Earth Hour 2009

Countdown to Earth Hour 2009… 

There's less than 24 hours left before Earth Hour 2009 will begin. While you may hotly debate whether or not turning out your lights for one hour can impact our global climate - it's not about what actually happens to our planet during that hour, but about showing you care. 3,900 cities and towns in 84 countries around the world will be shutting down the lights at 8:30 pm local time in one of the biggest events in history. Even if you don't care, take the time to read just a little bit more… Where will you be when the lights go out? (...) 
Read the rest of Countdown to Earth Hour 2009… (389 words)

world population at over 9 billion by 2050

Revised UN estimates put world population at over 9 billion by 2050

Hania Zlotnik

11 March 2009 – The world’s population will hit 7 billion early in 2012 and top 9 billion in 2050, with the majority of the increase taking place in developing countries, according to revised United Nations estimates released today.

“There have been no big changes for the recent estimates and we have not changed the assumptions for the future,” Hania Zlotnik, Director of the Population Division at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), told reporters in New York.

“We’re still projecting that by 2050 the population of the world will be around 9.1 billion,” she said, as she presented the 2008 Revision of the World Population Prospects.

The Revision also says that nine countries are expected to account for half of the world’s projected increase from 2010 to 2050: India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Ethiopia, United States, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Tanzania, China and Bangladesh./.../

Friday, March 27, 2009

Uma outra forma de se alimentar

Pesquisa FAPESP -  
© Lia Chaer/USP
Água do tanque nutre plante e abriga animais
As bromélias Vriesea gigantea vivem no alto de árvores e acumulam água entre suas folhas – por isso são chamadas de epífitas com tanque. Até onde se tem notícia, as plantas desse tipo são as únicas que de preferência extraem nitrogênio diretamente da ureia, abundante na urina das pererecas que usam a água empoçada para se abrigar e depositar seus ovos. O grupo coordenado pela botânica Helenice Mercier, da Universidade de São Paulo (USP), recentemente descobriu que essas bromélias têm duas estratégias para captar a ureia e desvendou mecanismos fisiológicos únicos. /.../

Brazil’s leader blames white people for crisis

Brazil’s leader blames white people for crisis

By Jonathan Wheatley in São Paulo and agencies

Published: March 27 2009 00:27 | Last updated: March 27 2009 00:27

Brazil’s President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Thursday blamed the global economic crisis on “white people with blue eyes” and said it was wrong that black and indigenous people should pay for white people’s mistakes.

Speaking in Brasília at a joint press conference with Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister, Mr Lula da Silva told reporters: “This crisis was caused by the irrational behaviour of white people with blue eyes, who before the crisis appeared to know everything and now demonstrate that they know nothing.”/.../

Karl Pearson

Enlarge picture
Karl Pearson

Karl Pearson FRS (March 27, 1857April 27, 1936) established the discipline of mathematical statistics. [1] A sesquicentenary conference was held in London on 23 March 2007, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of his birth. [2]

In 1911 he founded the world's first university statistics department at University College London. He was a proponent of eugenics, and a protégé and biographer of Sir Francis Galton. He was also a socialist.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

ACC/AHA Guidelines: Heart Failure in adults

2009 Focused Update Incorporated Into the ACC/AHA 2005 Guidelines for theDiagnosis and Management of Heart Failure in Adults. A Report of theAmerican College of Cardiology Foundation/American Heart Association TaskForce on Practice GuidelinesSharon Ann Hunt, William T. Abraham, Marshall H. Chin, Arthur M. Feldman,Gary S. Francis, Theodore G. Ganiats, Mariell Jessup, Marvin A. Konstam,Donna M. Mancini, Keith Michl, John A. Oates, Peter S. Rahko, Marc A.Silver, Lynne Warner Stevenson, and Clyde W. YancyCirculation published 26 March 2009, 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192065

Focused Update: ACCF/AHA Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management ofHeart Failure in Adults. A Report of the American College of CardiologyFoundation/American Heart Association Task Force on Practice GuidelinesMariell Jessup, William T. Abraham, Donald E. Casey, Arthur M. Feldman,Gary S. Francis, Theodore G. Ganiats, Marvin A. Konstam, Donna M. Mancini,Peter S. Rahko, Marc A. Silver, Lynne Warner Stevenson, and Clyde W. YancyCirculation published 26 March 2009, 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.109.192064

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The Health On the Net Foundation (HON) promotes and guides the deployment of useful and reliable online health information, and its appropriate and efficient use. Created in 1995, HON is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, accredited to the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. For twelve years, HON has focused on the essential question of the provision of health information to citizens, information that respects ethical standards. To cope with the unprecedented volume of healthcare information available on the Net, the HONcode of conduct offers a multi-stakeholder consensus on standards to protect citizens from misleading health information. 

State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009

From: Ruggiero, Mrs. Ana Lucia (WDC) <>
State of the World’s Cities 2008/2009 -
Harmonious Cities Earthscan in the UK and USA in 2008 for and on behalf of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT), 2008
Available online as PDF file [288p.] at:
“…….Half of humanity now lives in cities, and within two decades, nearly 60 per cent of the world’s people will be urban dwellers. Urban growth is most rapid in the developing world, where cities gain an average of 5 million residents every month. As cities grow in size and population, harmony among the spatial, social and environmental aspects of a city and between their inhabitants becomes of paramount importance. This harmony hinges on two key pillars: equity and sustainability. “
“……Cities embody some of society’s most pressing challenges, from pollution and disease to unemployment and lack of adequate shelter. But cities are also venues where rapid, dramatic change is not just possible but expected. Thus they present real opportunities for increasing energy efficiency, reducing disparities in development and improving living conditions in general. National and local governments can promote harmonious urbanization by supporting pro-poor, inclusive and equitable urban development and by strengthening urban governance structures and processes. History demonstrates that integrated urban policy can be a solid path towards development. Contrary to popular opinion, inequality and the unsustainable use of energy are not inevitable aspects of urban development, nor are they necessary for urbanization and economic growth to occur. Rather, as this report illustrates, cities can advance the prosperity of their inhabitants while achieving equitable social outcomes and fostering the sustainable use of resources. Today, many small, well-managed cities in both the developing and developed worlds are enjoying rapid growth, giving us a chance to stave off entrenched poverty and cultivate healthy environments in which people can thrive. The data and analysis contained in this report are intended to improve our understanding of how cities function and what we, as a global community, can do to increase their liveability and unity. In that spirit, I commend this report to policymakers, mayors, citizens’ groups and all those concerned with the welfare of our urbanizing world………..
”…. Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General, United Nations

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Os pesquisadores mais quentes de 2008

Os pesquisadores mais quentes de 2008
Chinês radicado nos EUA lidera lista de cientistas que publicaram mais artigos científicos de alto impacto, os hot papers
Edição Online - 17/03/2009
Pesquisa FAPESP -
© The Gordon Life Sciences Institute
Kuo-Chen Chou: número um da lista, com 17 artigos de alto impacto
O site Science Watch, da Thomson Reuters, divulgou o ranking dos treze cientistas que mais produziram artigos científicos de alto impacto, os chamados hot papers, no período 2007-2008. A lista é encabeçada por Kuo-Chen Chou, que trabalha no Gordon Life Sciences Institute, de San Diego (EUA), e é professor da Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Pesquisador da área de bioquímica/bioinformática, com ênfase no estudo de ferramentas de sequenciamento genético que ajudam a prever a localização de proteínas, Chou emplacou 17 artigos em revistas indexadas pela base de dados Web of Science que foram rotulados de "quentes". Um de seus colaboradores, Hong-Bin Shen, da Shanghai Jiao Tong University, também aparece na lista, com 13 hot papers.
Um trabalho é considerado um hot paper quando, menos de dois anos depois de ter sido publicado, atinge um índice de citações em revistas científicas muito superior ao apresentado por artigos contemporâneos da mesma área./.../

inflamação, aterosclerose ganha novas possibilidades de tratamento

(Artigo selecionado pela Dra. Maria Inês Reinert Azambuja)
Fluxo livre
Vista como inflamação, aterosclerose ganha novas possibilidades de tratamento
Carlos Fioravanti
Edição Impressa 157 - Março 2009
Pesquisa FAPESP -
© Susumu Nishinaga/Science Photo Library
Artérias: inflamações internas dificultam a passagem do sangue Durante décadas a aterosclerose era definida como o acúmulo gradativo de gorduras nas paredes das artérias. Um tipo de gordura, a lipoproteína de baixa densidade (LDL), ganhou fama como colesterol ruim e responsável por esse mecanismo que pode levar a infartos e doen­ças cardiovasculares, a principal causa de morte no mundo. Nos últimos anos as explicações ganharam refinamentos e a aterosclerose começou a ser vista como um processo inflamatório crônico, que alimenta e é alimentado pela deposição de gorduras nas paredes das artérias. Essa abordagem frutifica agora no Brasil na forma de três novas possibilidades de tratamento que apresentaram resultados positivos nos testes preliminares realizados em animais. /.../

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


From: Ruggiero, Mrs. Ana Lucia (WDC) to EQUIDAD
Edited by Richard Wootton Director of the Scottish Centre for Telehealth, Honorary Professor at the University of Queensland (Australia), and Professor at the University of Aberdeen (UK). Nivritti G. Patil Professor of Surgery and Assistant Dean (Education and Student Affairs) at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong. Richard E. Scott Associate Professor at the Global e-Health Research and Training Program, Health Innovation and Information Technology Centre, Department of Community Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary (Canada). Kendall Ho Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine and Director of the e-Health Strategy Office in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia (Canada). Royal Society of Medicine Press/IDRC 2009ISBN 978-1-85315-784-4 - e-ISBN 978-1-55250-396-6 324 pp.
Available online at: “ Health care is primarily about people-to-people interactions. It is about understanding, diagnosis, physical contact, communication, and, ultimately, providing care. By bringing people together, telecommunication technologies have the potential to improve both the quality of and access to health care in the remotest areas of the developing world. Telemedicine offers solutions for emergency medical assistance, long-distance consultation, administration and logistics, supervision and quality assurance, and education and training for healthcare professionals and providers. This book aims to redress the relative lack of published information on successful telehealth solutions in the developing world. It presents real-life stories from Asia, Africa, and Latin America.. ……….”

The corporate bias and the molding of prescription practices: the case of hypertension

The corporate bias and the molding of prescription practices: the case of hypertension
Flavio D. Fuchs
Serviço de Cardiologia, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
Correspondence to: F.D. Fuchs, Serviço de Cardiologia, Hospital de Clínicas de Porto Alegre,
Rua Ramiro Barcelos, 2350, 90035-903 Porto Alegre, RS, Brasil
Fax: +55-51-2101-8420. E-mail:
Drug management of hypertension has been a noticeable example of the influence of the pharmaceutical industry on prescription practices. The worldwide leading brands of blood pressure-lowering agents are angiotensin receptor-blocking agents, although they are considered to be simply substitutes of angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors. Commercial strategies have been based on the results of clinical trials sponsored by drug companies. Most of them presented distortions in their planning, presentation or interpretation that favored the drugs from the sponsor, i.e., corporate bias. Atenolol, an ineffective blood pressure agent in elderly individuals, was the comparator drug in several trials. In a re-analysis of the INSIGHT trial, deaths appeared to have been counted twice. The LIFE trial appears in the title of more than 120 reproductions of the main and flawed trial, as a massive strategy of scientific marketing. Most guidelines have incorporated the corporate bias from the original studies, and the evidence from better designed studies, such as the ALLHAT trial, have been largely ignored. In trials published recently corporate influences have touched on ethical limits. In the ADVANCE trial, elderly patients with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease or risk factors, allocated to placebo, were not allowed to use diuretic and full doses of an ACE inhibitor,
despite the sound evidence of benefit demonstrated in previous trials. As a consequence, they had a 14% higher mortality rate than the participants allocated to the active treatment arm. This reality should be modified immediately, and a greater independence of the academy from the pharmaceutical industry is necessary.
Key words: Hypertension; Blood pressure agents; Clinical trials; Ethics; Corporate bias
This study was supported, in part, by the National Institute of Science and Technology for Health Technology Assessment
(IATS) - CNPq/Brazil.
Received October 3, 2008. Accepted February 16, 2009

WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008

WHO Report on the Global Tobacco Epidemic, 2008 - The MPOWER package

This landmark new report presents the first comprehensive worldwide analysis of tobacco use and control efforts. It provides countries with a roadmap to reverse the devastating global tobacco epidemic that could kill up to one billion people by the end of this century.
The report outlines the MPOWER package, a set of six key tobacco control measures that reflect and build on the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.
Download the full report - Available in Arabic, Chinese, English and Russian

The April issue of Preventing Chronic Disease

Volume 6: No. 2, April 2009

The April issue of Preventing Chronic Disease (PCD) is now available!

Please visit our site at, where you will find downloadable articles and information on PCD.

PCD RSS FeedHow to Add PCD RSS feedsLearn More About RSS

Monday, March 16, 2009

Life-Course Socioeconomic Position and Incidence of Coronary Heart Disease

Appointed by Dr. Maria Ines Reinert Azambuja
The Framingham Offspring Study
Eric B. Loucks, John W. Lynch, Louise Pilote, Rebecca Fuhrer, Nisha D. Almeida, Hugues Richard, Golareh Agha, Joanne M. Murabito and Emelia J. Benjamin
Cumulative exposure to socioeconomic disadvantage across the life course may be inversely associated with coronary heart disease (CHD); the mechanisms are not fully clear. An objective of this study was to determine whether cumulative life-course socioeconomic position (SEP) is associated with CHD incidence in a well-characterized US cohort that had directly assessed childhood and adulthood measures of SEP and prospectively measured CHD incidence. Furthermore, analyses aimed to evaluate whether adjustment for CHD risk factors reduces the association between cumulative life-course SEP and CHD. The authors examined 1,835 subjects who participated in the Framingham Heart Study Offspring Cohort from 1971 through 2003 (mean age, 35.0 years; 52.4% women). Childhood SEP was measured as father's education; adulthood SEP was assessed as own education and occupation. CHD incidence included myocardial infarction, coronary insufficiency, and coronary death. Cox proportional hazards analyses indicated that cumulative SEP was associated with incident CHD after adjustment for age and sex (hazard ratio = 1.82, 95% confidence interval: 1.17, 2.85 for low vs. high cumulative SEP score). Adjustment for CHD risk factors reduced that magnitude of association (hazard ratio = 1.29, 95% confidence interval: 0.78, 2.13). These findings underscore the potential importance of CHD prevention and treatment efforts for those whose backgrounds include low SEP throughout life.

AHA/ACCF/HRS Scientific Statements on EKG

Part III: Intraventricular Conduction Disturbances:
A Scientific Statement From the American Heart AssociationElectrocardiography and Arrhythmias Committee, Council on ClinicalCardiology; the American College of Cardiology Foundation; and the HeartRhythm Society: Endorsed by the International Society for ComputerizedElectrocardiologyBorys Surawicz, Rory Childers, Barbara J. Deal, and Leonard S. Gettes
Circulation 2009;119 e235-e240

Part IV: The ST Segment, T and U Waves, and the QTInterval:
Pentti M. Rautaharju, Borys Surawicz, and Leonard S. Gettes
Circulation 2009;119 e241-e250

Part V: Electrocardiogram Changes Associated WithCardiac Chamber Hypertrophy:
E. William Hancock, Barbara J. Deal, David M. Mirvis, Peter Okin, PaulKligfield, and Leonard S. GettesCirculation 2009;119 e251-e261

Part VI: Acute Ischemia/Infarction:
Galen S. Wagner, Peter Macfarlane, Hein Wellens, Mark Josephson, AntonGorgels, David M. Mirvis, Olle Pahlm, Borys Surawicz, Paul Kligfield, RoryChilders, and Leonard S. Gettes
Circulation 2009;119 e262-e270

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aperto sem Fronteiras

ZERO HORA 15 de março de 2009
Ritmo e gravidade diferentes

Agravada em setembro, a turbulência teve contágio veloz. Uma navegação por 60 países mostra que mais da metade tem perspectiva de perder riqueza este ano, enquanto a outra metade enfrentará redução de ritmo. Em compensação, analistas não esperam reprise de imagens que marcaram a Grande Depressão em países afetados pela quebra da bolsa de Nova York em 1929: filas para a sopa gratuita e desempregados vagando pelas estradas.
Um panorama dos efeitos da crise econômica no mundo

The World's Biggest Companies

Special Report
Edited by Scott DeCarlo and Brian Zajac
Complete List

World's Biggest Companies
One world; one gigantic marketplace. This year, 60 countries have global 2000 entries vs. 51 in our inaugural list in 2004. The Forbes global 2000 are public companies with the top composite scores based on their rankings for sales, profits, assets and market value. Our justification for using a composite ranking is simple: One metric alone can give a false impression about corporate size.
In total, the global 2000 companies now account for $30 trillion in revenues, $2.4 trillion in profits, $119 trillion in assets and $39 trillion in market value. Around the world, 72 million people work for these companies.
By The Numbers: Global High Performers
By The Numbers: Global 2000 Winners & Losers
By The Numbers: Big Companies That Are Hiring
The U.S. still dominates this list of global giants, but with 61 fewer entries than last year and 153 fewer than in 2004, as many U.S. companies failed to keep pace with global competitors. In contrast, China, India and Brazil are rapidly adding companies to the list. India, for example, has 48 companies this year vs. 27 in 2004.
Measured by number of companies, 315, the banking industry has the biggest presence on the global 2000. Banking also dominates in assets, with total assets of $58.3 trillion, and profits, $398 billion. The 123 companies in oil and gas operations lead all industries in aggregate revenues, of $3.76 trillion, and take second place in total profits, of $386 billion.
For the past few years, we have also identified an important subset of the global 2000: big companies that also have exceptional growth rates. To qualify as a global high performer, a company must stand out from its industry peers in growth, return to investors and future prospects. Most of the 130 global high performers have been expanding their earnings at 25% a year or better--easy for a start-up, hard for a blue chip.
One such exceptional company is HSBC Holdings (nyse: HBC - news - people ), which not only leads this year's global 2000 in size--by moving past Citigroup (nyse: C - news - people ), which we now rank 24--but also is one of five global high performers in the banking industry. HSBC has delivered 26% annual average growth in revenue and 31% in net income over the past five years--results that seem more suited to a growing regional bank than one operating in 83 countries with 10,000 offices and $2.3 trillion in assets.
Our tables on global high performers include international brand names such as McDonald's (nyse: MCD - news - people ), Nestlé (other-otc: NSRGF - news - people ), Toyota Motor (nyse: TM - news - people ) and Walt Disney (nyse: DIS - news - people ), as well as rising stars such as Turkcell (nyse: TKC - news - people ), Turkey's biggest wireless telecom company, and Infosys Technologies (nasdaq: INFY - news - people ), a technology service firm headquartered in India.
To find these global superstars, we analyzed 26 industries of the global 2000 (we excluded trading companies) and gave each company scores for a low debt-to-capital ratio, long- and short-term sales growth, profit growth, return on capital and total return over five years. The composite performance score also wires in earnings growth forecasts tabulated by Thomson IBES. We deleted a few candidates with good numbers but big problems.
Other requirements for the global high performers list: shares traded in the U.S. or american depositary receipts, a share price of at least $5, positive equity and sales of at least $1 billion.
By The Numbers: Global High Performers
By The Numbers: Global 2000 Winners & Losers
By The Numbers: Big Companies That Are Hiring

Gaius Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar assassinated on the Ides of March In 44 BC (March 15) Roman dictator Julius Caesar was launching a series of political and social reforms when he was assassinated this day, the Ides of March, by a group of nobles, among whom were Cassius and Brutus.

Friday, March 13, 2009

World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision

From: Ruggiero, Mrs. Ana Lucia (WDC)


World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision

 UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs

Population Division, March 2009

 The official United Nations estimations and projections of population for all countries of the world, covering the period 1950-2050.

 Press release:

Data Online :

Selected Tables:

 The results of the 2008 Revision incorporate the findings of the most recent national population censuses and of numerous specialized population surveys carried out around the world. The 2008 Revision provides the demographic data and indicators to assess trends at the global, regional and national levels and to calculate many other key indicators commonly used by the United Nations system.


 Developing Countries to Add 2.3 Billion Inhabitants with 1.1 Billion Aged Over 60 and 1.2 Billion of Working Age

 NEW YORK, 11 March (UN Population Division/DESA) – World population is projected to reach 7 billion early in 2012, up from the current 6.8 billion, and surpass 9 billion people by 2050, reveals the 2008 Revision of the official United Nations population estimates and projections

.Most of the additional 2.3 billion people will enlarge the population of developing countries, which is projected to rise from 5.6 billion in 2009 to 7.9 billion in 2050, and will be distributed among the population aged 15-59 (1.2 billion) and 60 or over (1.1 billion) because the number of children under age 15 in developing countries will decrease.

In contrast, the population of the more developed regions is expected to change minimally, passing from 1.23 billion to 1.28 billion, and would have declined to 1.15 billion were it not for the projected net migration from developing to developed countries, which is projected to average 2.4 million persons annually from 2009 to 2050.

The results of the 2008 Revision incorporate the findings of the most recent national population censuses and of numerous specialized population surveys carried out around the world. The 2008 Revision provides the demographic data and indicators to assess trends at the global, regional and national levels and to calculate many other key indicators commonly used by the United Nations system.

International Migration Report 2006: A Global Assessment

World Mortality 2007 (Wall Chart)

Contribution of population policy to the achievement of the internationallyagreed development goals including the Millennium Development Goals
    Panel discussion, New York, 15 December 2008


From: Ruggiero, Mrs. Ana Lucia (WDC)



Background Paper prepared by World Bank Staff for the G20 Finance Ministers and Central

Bank Governors Meeting, Horsham, United Kingdom on March 13-14, 2009

 Available online PDF [21p.] at:


“…..Impact on the Poor and Most Vulnerable- What does this mean for the poor?The economic crisis is projected to increase poverty by around 46 million people in 2009. The principal transmission channels will be via employment and wage effects as well as declining remittance flows. While labor markets in the developing world will take a while to experience the full effects of the on-going global contraction, there is already clear evidence of the fall-out.


The latest estimates from the Ministry of Labor in China show 20 million people out of work. So far, the most affected sectors appear to be those that had been the most dynamic, typically urban-based exporters, construction, mining and manufacturing. The garment industry has laid off 30,000 workers in Cambodia (10% of workforce) where it represents the only significant export industry. In India, over 500,000 jobs have been lost over the last 3 months of 2008 in export-oriented sectors—i.e., gems and jewelry, autos, and textiles. ILO forecasts suggest that global job losses could hit 51 million, and up to 30 million workers could become unemployed.

“….Workers are increasingly shifting out of dynamic export-oriented sectors 
into lower productivity activities (and moving from urban back into rural areas). These trends are likely to jeopardize recent progress in growth and poverty reduction resulting from labor shifting to higher return activities.

Declining remittances and migration opportunities are also undermining poverty gains and depressing wages.

Falling real wages and employment impede households’ ability to provide adequate food and necessities to their members

“….Experience from past crises suggests the potential for a slowdown in progress towards the MDGs 
(Figure 7). Even prior to the crisis, most human development MDGs—especially for child and maternal mortality but also primary school completion, nutrition, and sanitation—were unlikely to be met…..’


“…..Protecting the VulnerableInevitably, the crisis will impact social and human development objectives. Declining growth rates combined with high levels of initial poverty leave many households in developing countries highly exposed to the crisis. The Bank estimates that of 116 developing countries, 94 have experienced decelerating growth, of which 43 experience high levels of poverty. This implies new spending needs and may warrant a re-prioritization of existing public spending….”

 World Bank: Financial Crisis website:

 Policy Note: Vulnerable Countries Brief

The Global Economic Crisis:

Assessing Vulnerability with a Poverty Lens

This policy note was prepared by Louise Cord, Marijn Verhoeven, Camilla Blomquist and Bob Rijkers   

 ‘…..Almost all developed and developing countries are suffering from the global economic crisis. While developed countries are experiencing some of the sharpest contractions, households in developing countries are much more vulnerable and likely to experience acute negative consequences in the short- and long-term. Declining growth rates combined with high levels of initial poverty leave many households in developing countries highly exposed to the crisis. Vulnerability is heightened if, at the same time, governments are constrained in cushioning the impacts due limited institutional capacity and fiscal resources….”


A Saúde da Economia está em Estado de Choque

Conferência por Joelmir Beting, no INCOR, Fundação EJ Zerbini

10 Ideas Changing the World Right Now


Thursday, March 12, 2009

Poverty Net Newsletter

Poverty Net Newsletter - Sample

The PovertyNet Newsletter is a monthly newsletter that contains updates on new information and resources available on the PovertyNet web site, covering:
  • poverty reduction strategies
  • the World Bank's World Development Report (WDR) on poverty and development
  • poverty monitoring and evaluation
  • the impact of growth and inequality on poverty
  • the role of human capital development in the fight against poverty
  • safety nets
  • social capital.

Latest Issues

Mar 12, 2009World Bank PovertyNet Newsletter #123, February 2009
Feb 05, 2009World Bank PovertyNet Newsletter #122, January 2009
Jan 07, 2009World Bank PovertyNet Newsletter #121, December 2008

Mental Health, Resilience and Inequalities

Mental Health, Resilience and Inequalities  

Gap between rich and poor damages mental health  

Evidence released by the Mental Health Foundation shows the impact of the poverty gap to both individual and collective mental health.  

The report, Mental Health, Resilience and Inequalities, shows how the gap between rich and poor affects the mental health of individuals by causing psychological and physiological changes.  

It also argues that mental health is key to understanding wider health and social issues. 

Our report argues that mental health is the lynchpin between economic and social conditions. Poor mental health experienced by individuals is a significant cause of wider social and health problems, including: 

  • low levels of educational achievement and work productivity

  • higher levels of physical disease and mortality

  • violence, relationship breakdown and poor community cohesion 

In contrast, good mental health leads to better physical health, healthier lifestyles, improved productivity and educational attainment and lower levels of crime and violence.  

The report says that reducing inequalities must be seen as an integral part of economic development, and recommends that, given the central importance of mental health to the wider functioning of society, all future public policy is assessed for its ‘mental health impact’.

Brasil Ponto a Ponto da ONU

 A Prefeitura de Porto Alegre é parceira no projeto Brasil Ponto a Ponto da ONU. Acesse o site e deixe sua mensagem (escrita ou em vídeo) sobre o que você acha que deveria melhorar na sua vida e essa mensagem ajudará na constituição do próximo Relatório de Desenvolvimento Humano das Nações Unidas.
 Equipe do Observatório da Cidade

Todos os dias você vê na televisão, jornal ou rádio, que um novo relatório foi publicado pelas Nações Unidas. Cada um desses relatórios tem um tema, um assunto, que quase sempre trata de uma questão importante. No entanto, poucas vezes existe a oportunidade de se perguntar às pessoas sobre o que elas desejariam que o relatório tratasse. Agora essa oportunidade existe, graças a uma iniciativa do Programa das Nações Unidas para o Desenvolvimento (PNUD). 

Um novo Relatório de Desenvolvimento Humano, a ser publicado no início de 2010, está sendo preparado pelo PNUD, para o Brasil. Mais um relatório? – você pode dizer. Para que serve mais um relatório? Pode não servir para nada mesmo. Ou pode servir para muito. Depende de você. Depende da sua resposta. Depende das suas sugestões. Depende do seu interesse em receber o relatório, quando ele estiver pronto, para usar o que estiver lá dentro. Esse relatório quer falar sobre o que podemos fazer para termos desenvolvimento humano. Mas...o que é “desenvolvimento humano”? Muitos ainda acham que ‘desenvolver’ é apenas ter mais recursos materiais. Dinheiro e bens materiais podem ser importantes, afinal, saco vazio não para em pé, no entanto, ‘desenvolver’ é mais do que ter dinheiro. Quantas pessoas conhecemos que são pobres apesar de todo o dinheiro que têm? O desenvolvimento humano é promovido quando as pessoas podem levar vidas felizes e produtivas, nas quais elas tenham as capacidades e oportunidades para ser aquilo que desejam. Uma vida com desenvolvimento humano é uma vida sem discriminações, sem opressões, onde as pessoas possam ter a liberdade de escolha de suas opções de vida como também acesso aos meios para concretizar plenamente essas opções. 

E o que é necessário para que os brasileiros tenham uma vida feliz e plena? O PNUD convida você a participar desse importante processo de debate e construção conjunta de soluções. A partir das opiniões dos participantes desse processo, será definido o tema do próximo Relatório de Desenvolvimento Humano do PNUD, que será discutido junto ao governo e à população. 

Somente através da participação das pessoas é que podemos ter conhecimento dos problemas que realmente afetam a vida de todos no país e estimular a busca de soluções para esses problemas. Como é o Brasil que queremos? Participe! Sua opinião é fundamental para o sucesso desse processo. 

Equipe do Relatório de Desenvolvimento Humano

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Certeza, probabilidade, confiança e ilusão

11 de março de 2009 | N° 15904


Certeza, probabilidade, confiança e ilusão, por Aloyzio Achutti*

Na busca incessante por uma verdade absoluta, só resta a certeza de que tudo é relativo e que todo ser vivo embora possa transmitir a vida termina se acabando. Na angústia da incerteza termina-se por adotar ilusões e fantasias para compensar e preencher o vazio.

A ciência busca o mesmo por métodos mais racionais e utiliza a arte da probabilidade como subterfúgio para restituir a confiabilidade nas escolhas e tomadas de decisão.

Mesmo no império da dúvida, é possível construir uma sociedade de confiança através de um pacto social, pelo qual seja possível viver e se desenvolver com relativa tranquilidade, efetuando trocas, sem ficar constantemente em guarda, desconfiando de tudo e de todos.

Tudo depende da confiabilidade dos parceiros e das boas experiências e frustrações em relacionamentos anteriores.

As notícias circulantes, entretanto, não são muito animadoras: a farda, o avental branco, a toga e a batina não dão mais a segurança desejada. O assaltante e o bandido não vêm mais maltrapilhos e de pés descalços. Os anúncios, os rótulos, a propaganda, os discursos, os resultados de pesquisas, as aulas e os sermões, com muita frequência, trazem desilusões, comprometendo a margem de confiança.

Por outro lado, parece que desde muito cedo todo mundo está exposto a um treinamento para viver de ilusões, com menos questionamento e contestação. As histórias da carochinha, o cinema, as novelas, reality shows (que nada têm de realidade), plataformas políticas, as promessas de cura, a maquilagem individual e social, o poder da mídia, até a educação focada na teoria e na idealização, escamoteiam a realidade.

A imaginação – que no dizer de Einstein é mais importante do que o conhecimento – permite o distanciamento do mundo real enquanto se reconstrói no virtual qualquer coisa livre de imperfeições, sem incertezas e mais de acordo com as expectativas de cada um.

Às dúvidas naturais somam-se a mentira, os falsos testemunhos, as omissões, os conflitos de interesses e o corporativismo, que aliados à curta duração da memória servem para deixar tudo como está, misturado na avalanche do constante renovar das informações, sem preocupação com o epílogo (ainda mais quando tudo termina em “pizza”). É mais fácil deixar-se viver sem tomar decisões, sem pretensões de interferir na história, sem contestar, assistindo passivamente ao cortejo passar.

A atual crise mundial é uma boa demonstração prática da frase de Abraham Lincoln: “Você pode enganar pessoas todo o tempo. Você pode também enganar todas as pessoas algum tempo. Mas você não pode enganar todas as pessoas o tempo todo”. Apesar de toda a aparência de poder, a queda do castelo de cartas viciadas do sistema financeiro internacional deveria servir como um alerta para não se continuar sonhando e pensar que tudo não passa de um pesadelo. Somente com restauração da confiabilidade e da parceria, será possível deter a deterioração progressiva das instituições, do tecido social e do meio ambiente, essenciais para se continuar vivo e transmitir a vida.