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A couple of dire studies

Here’s a particularly upsetting one about the “Obstetric Pathology of Poverty,” or, the examination of the effects of poverty on the statistics and practices of obstetrics. Try this quote, from the conclusion:

The “obstetric pathology of poverty” has been described as an ever-increasing problem in poor nations of the developing world. This issue is nowhere more evident than in Cambodia. In the Western Pacific Region, 40% of maternal deaths occur in only six countries, which account for 10% of the population (Ruyan 1999). Cambodia is included in this list, and it is thus not surprising that a high maternal mortality ratio was found in Kep. Today, a woman’s risk of dying from pregnancy-related causes in the poorest nations is higher than a century ago in the richest nations (Graham 2002). [link]

Or, if you prefer stories about landlessness and its creation of poverty, try this report, which includes this nugget:

Today, at least a third of Cambodia’s peoples-rural and urban–are being systematically alienated from their lands, homes and livelihoods. In many instances communities are losing lands and access to natural resources because of economic and demographic pressures. But equally, people are being dispossessed from their lands by those with political power and money. This is made possible by a combination of factors: economic opportunism by the country’s elites and their external allies and their impunity from legal action; ambiguous land laws; a judicial system that is hostage to political and financial power and unable to protect the rights of citizens; short-sighted economic development plans that seek to usher in private capital at any cost, and; shocking apathy by bilateral and multilateral donors and creditors, who are willing to turn a blind eye to massive land and resource thefts.

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