Effectiveness of strategies designed to reduce disparities

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Evaluate the effectiveness of strategies designed to reduce disparities

Disparities can be referred to differences, bias and unequal in gender, jobs, wealth, or contrast between rich and poor. Scales of disparities can be classified into regional, national or global. In recent years, inequalities in wealth and economic growth have increased both between and within countries – from one area to another and among different groups of people. However, various ways to reduce disparities are introduced in different countries, consisting of government investment on social development, foreign investment that mainly focuses on economic integration, different kinds of aid, structural adjustment policies and easier access to markets.

Papua New Guinea is an example to demonstrate how government aid and foreign investment have reduced disparities. It is the eastern half of the island of New Guinea, which situated to the north of Australia. Before European colonization, most people earned a living by small-scale subsistence farming. However, when machinery was developed in 1850s, the indigenous technology for producing the oil was made redundant and eventually led to village producers working on plantations established by the Europeans. After the World War II, Australian aid led to the growth of an extremely large government sector of employment, stimulating a rapid increase in the rate of urbanization. Manufacturing industries expanded, although they remained a small sector in Papua New Guinea’s economy. Foreigners also had an influence in terms of economic development as its economy is largely owned and managed by foreigners. Wealth is also generated by foreign companies due to the employment opportunities, technology, training and management expertise provided. Economic and social advances have been made in Papua New Guinea since 1970, including about 43,000 nationals employed by the government, earning on average double or triple the national average income.

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Overall, government aid and foreign investment has helped to reduce regional disparities in Papua New Guinea, to a large extent extent, by encouraging economic growth and social development. However, inequality still exists in respect of income distribution, health and educational status. Income is distributed unevenly while provinces with large towns gain a lager average income. Health status is lowest in highlands but highest in island provinces as people are richer. Most deaths occur in remote villages or at home are due to pneumonia, gastroenteritis or malaria. There is a large gap between highlands and islands in terms of educational status. ...

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