The Human Cost of Transition

Human Security in South East Europe

The report finds that the countries of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe are paying a high cost for their transition to a market economy. This regional human development report finds that alcoholism, drug abuse and suicides have claimed the lives of 9.7 million adult males in these transition countries since 1990. The report, produced annually in 27 countries of this region, points to a different reality, one where economic growth through market driven policies were pursued to the relative neglect of institutional reform. The second issue is the need to balance the requirements for strengthening the nation-state with policies to respond to aspirations of minorities who found their voice as part of these nations. A third issue dealt with in this report, again very much present in all of the countries ’annual NHDRs, is that thanks to past investment, human development indicators remain better than what would seem consistent with economic data. The report warns that a human crisis of monumental proportions is emerging in the former Soviet Union as the transition years “have literally been lethal for a great many people”. The authors argue for an urgent shift from private consumption policies to investment in people.

Human Security