the graduatePosted: October 18, 2013
More good news from Nicaragua, at least if you’re one of the millions of ordinary people in the country. A conference in Managua in September, organised by the Human Development and Capability Association, heard that Nicaragua would meet all its Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The HDCA is the brain-child of Amartya Sen, the Nobel Prize winning development Economist. Attending the event, Sen emphasised the need for policies that combined growth with investment in public services – health and education – leading to greater re-distribution.
Nicaragua drew praise from the World Bank (a common occurrence these days) for the way that incomes of the poorest 40% have grown four times as fast as for the entire population. But anyone who is familiar with Nicaragua’s struggle to achieve the Millennium Goals – a distant prospect under a succession of neo-liberal governments – will be glad to hear the words of the United Nations Development Programme. Their Nicaraguan representative, Pablo Mandeville, said the country will hit the targets. Nicaragua was also now leading the process in Latin America, along with Brazil, about what the new targets should be after 2015.
A few weeks later there was more good news, this time on the economic front. Another member of the ‘Washington Consensus’ gave Nicaragua full marks. The International Monetary Fund (who along with the World Bank and the US wreaked havoc across Latin America for two decades until they became increasingly irrelevant) were in Nicaragua, to announce jointly with the government that Nicaragua had ‘graduated’ from its IMF programme.
Nicaragua has seemingly achieved a basket of advances that will have it’s economic critics choking on their tortillas – 5% growth, a reduction in the public debt, a reduction in the balance of trade deficit, an increase in foreign reserves, whilst at the same time reducing poverty.