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By Aurelio Menéndez, Economic Development Institute (Washington, D.C.), International Development Centre (Canada), USAID Thailand

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Furthermore, as poor families often have several children, the impact of disregarding the poor hits the youngest sectors of the population harder. Several participants stressed the need to know more about the growing poverty among children, raise the (political) awareness about this problem, and implement proposals that emphasize more balanced ecological systems, such as open spaces, amenities, and schools, that particularly enhance children's living environments. Another important aspect the participants underscored is the realization that many of the adult poor are women, who are more disadvantaged because they do not have the same recognition, training, and access to credit as men.

The program consists of Page 15 small-scale employment and income-generating projects and social assistance activities. The target population includes the unemployed, particularly those affected by the collapse of the mining industry, and the rural poor, especially pregnant and lactating women and preschool children. For that purpose, ESF was designed to provide a fast disbursing mechanism for financing small projects. Elegible projects are water supply, sewerage, health posts, school facilities, school desks, school breakfasts, basic shelter, roads improvement and maintenance, irrigation, and erosion control.

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