Corporate Social Responsibility
Health & Economic Development
Countries with the weakest conditions of health and education have a much harder time achieving sustained economic growth than do countries that have populations with better access to health services and education. Among poor countries, those with an infant mortality rate between 50 and 100 per 1,000 live births have an average annual economic growth rate of 3.7 %, whereas those with an infant mortality rate greater than 150 have an average annual growth rate of only 0.1%. According to some estimates, each 10% improvement in life expectancy at birth is associated with a rise in economic growth of at least 0.3 to 0.4 percentage points per year, holding other growth factors constant.
Healthy individuals are better workers. Disease reduces annual incomes of society, the lifetime incomes of individuals, and prospects for economic growth. Economists use worker sick days, accident rates, etc. as components of worker productivity. This can also be applied to a nation. The quantification of national losses from disease is a significant percent of GNP of the world’s poorest countries. The sum losses translate into billions of dollars. For example, poor families burdened with chronic illness and death slip further into poverty as they lose income, sell their productive assets and go into debt in order to meet their subsistence needs and the costs of treatment. Illness in a parent may result in “poor health or even death of a previously healthy child”. Severe illness in a parent can produce a domino effect in hampering children’s ability to learn and to attend school, thus decreasing their chances of a productive adulthood. At the societal level, a healthier population can collectively contribute to a country’s economic growth. In countries where “people have poor health and the level of education is low it is more difficult to achieve sustainable economic growth”.
Investments in capacity building health and education programs foster a healthier and more stable society by directly investing in the people that build, buy, or service a company’s product. Poor population health is a major impediment to economic growth within a single country and may have worldwide implications.
Investments in health are optimized as part of an overall development strategy. Economic growth requires not only investments in health, but also complementary investments in education, good governance, functioning markets, and institutions that foster technological advancement and civil society. Investments by the private sector are necessary to compliment the public sector investments if economic growth is to succeed in developing countries.
Globalization has the potential to produce tremendous benefits by increasing knowledge and information, technologies, productivity mechanisms, and greater social and cultural interchanges. Yet the benefits have not been reaped by huge segments of the world’s population. Without programs to improve health, education and legal rights to both, globalization’s positive impact will not be realized by most of the world’s populations. Instead, the gap between the rich and poor will become increasingly apparent. Both the public and private sectors have roles to play in creating a global interdependence that includes populations that are disenfranchised, unhealthy and poor.
Sample list of Corporate Supporters:
|Black & Veatch|
|Ford Motor Co.|
|Ford Motor Credit.|
|Goodyear Tire & Rubber|
|JW Marriott Jakarta|
|Procter & Gamble|