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Effects of the Terrorist Attacks on the Third World

By Yassaman Saadatmand, associate professor of economics at Armstrong Atlantic State University

As a result of the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US, thousands of people lost their lives. However, there will be another human toll that will be probably largely unseen and neglected here, and that is the effect of this attack on millions of people in developing countries. According to the World Bank, as a result of the terrorist attacks, millions of people will slide below the poverty line of $1 a day.

There is ample evidence that suggests that the developing countries will experience smaller economic growth this year and in the following year as a result of the attack. In fact, the World Bank has recently revised its GDP growth forecasts for the developing countries for 2002 and predicted that it will fall from the expected 4.3 percent to 3.5 percent.

One expects that as a result of the recent attacks, most developing countries will experience declines in exports, tourism, commodity prices and foreign investment. There are already signs of decline in international trade. Increases in security, insurance costs, and delays in customs clearances are among the factors that push up the costs of global trade. These factors will translate into a slower growth for the developing world.

There is a clear link between the fall in economic activity and infant mortality and poverty. According to the World Bank, as a result of the slower growth, an additional twenty to forty thousand children under age of five could die. The most affected area will be Africa, where an estimated additional two million people may end up living below the poverty line.

Since most of these countries provide little to nothing as a way of safety net to their population; the hardship facing millions of people in developing countries will be enormous. Therefore, the terrorist attacks will not only affect the United States, they will also have far reaching consequences for many other people around the world. It is important for individuals around the world to unite against terrorism.


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