Poverty, Trade and Health: an Emerging Health Development Issue Report of the Regional Director
AbstractThe General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) is one of the most important multilateral trade agreements to emerge from the Uruguay Round of negotiations that created the World Trade Organization. It is the multilateral legal framework through which WTO members will approach the progressive liberalization of trade in services, including health-related services. There is now an animated international debate about the impact of GATS on public services in general, and health in particular. 2. Health is critical for long-term economic development and prosperity. Improved health is beneficial to development, while development and the increased resources that it generates are vital for promoting public health. Poverty breeds ill-health which further perpetuates poverty. Illhealth also reduces human capital and productivity. Economic growth (with redistribution) is the primary means by which countries reduce poverty. 3. Trade liberalization can be a powerful tool for fostering development and reducing poverty. By providing incentives for an efficient allocation of resources, an open and transparent trade regime is an important precondition for broad-based and sustained growth.
Regional Committee for Africa, 56. (2006). Poverty, Trade and Health: an Emerging Health Development Issue Report of the Regional Director. WHO. Regional Office for Africa. http://www.who.int/iris/handle/10665/92474
DescriptionRegional Committee for Africa Fifty-sixth Session Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 28 August–1 September 2006, Provisional agenda item 8.3
Gov't Doc #AFR-RC56-9
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