Human Capacity of Belarus: Economic Challenges & Social Responses
In an attempt to allow enough time to examine the major socio-economic transformations in Belarus, the launch of the country’s seventh report comes after a three-year pause in the production of NHDRs. This 2003 report focuses on the human capacity of Belarus and explores how globalisation has affected and will continue to affect Belarus’ geopolitical potential. Much attention is given to the analysis of modern economic conditions, the identification of key economic development problems and their causes. Despite the significant effects of the Chernobyl disaster on the region, the report observes that there has been a reduction of negative anthropogenic influences on nature in the past decade. This improvement, however, has not led to better public health, which in turn indicates that while there has been progress in some areas of the country’s development, not enough has taken place in order to result in great improvement in the country’s overall social and economic development. A study of the economic conditions of Belarus’ “problem regions” – namely, those affected by the Chernobyl disaster as well as those areas in depression -- reveals that the task of developing these regions has only been partially accomplished, while some of the problems have become even more acute. Huge financial constraints in addition to lack of knowledge about how to handle such challenges are among the causes of these poor conditions. In effect, the report finds that Belarus is in dire need of more capital investment and that the solution to increased human development lies in the implementation of prompt social decisions, as well as a successful formation of an effective civil society – a necessary condition for a new stage of economic reforms in Belarus.