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2008年7月14日 (月)

10億人の貧困

2008/7/12 --The Asahi Shimbun, July 11(IHT/Asahi: July 12,2008)

EDITORIAL: The Bottom Billion

サミット後―10億人の貧困をどうする

"The Bottom Billion" is a term gaining currency in the international aid community. It refers to the 1 billion people at the bottom of the pyramid. They are the poorest of the poor in developing countries living on less than $1 (107 yen) a day. They constitute one-sixth of the world's population.

「ボトム・ビリオン」という言葉がある。最底辺の10億人。1日1ドル未満の収入で暮らす途上国の最貧困層のことだ。世界人口の6分の1を占める。 

The ripple effects of skyrocketing oil and food prices are spreading worldwide. Costlier energy and food pose a grave, immediate threat to the survival of the Bottom Billion, who live in farming villages and urban slums in developing countries.

原油や食糧の高騰の波が、日本をはじめ世界に広がっている。途上国の農村や都市スラムで生きるボトム・ビリオンの人々にとっては、これは自らと家族の生存にかかわる、文字通りの脅威である。 

(ripple=さざなみをたてる) (costlier=costly=値段の高いの比較級)

In a news conference at the closing of this year's Group of Eight summit, held in the Lake Toyako resort in Hokkaido, Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda said, "Challenges of global scale are affecting people's lives in dire ways." He was talking about the seriousness of such problems as soaring crude oil and food prices, inflation and global warming.

洞爺湖サミットを締めくくる記者会見で、福田首相は「世界規模の課題が切実な形で人々の生活に影響を与えている」と述べた。原油や食糧の高騰、インフレ、温暖化といった課題の深刻さを語ったものだ。 

(dire=おそろしい、ものすごい)

During the three-day summit, leaders of major economic powers spent hours discussing these problems and produced masses of declaration documents. But how much did these discussions and documents do to hearten the Bottom Billion? How much relief did they give to them?

しかし、サミットでの3日間の議論や膨大な宣言文書は、ボトム・ビリオンの人々の心にどこまで響くものだったのか。どれだけの救いを発信できたのか。主要8カ国の首脳といえども万能でないのは当然だが、この問いかけの重さをかみしめざるを得ない。 

(mass=集まり、集積、集合) (hearten=励ます、元気付ける、励ます)

Of course, even the leaders of the eight most powerful nations cannot find solutions to all these intractable problems. But that doesn't lessen the urgency of asking these questions.

In response to rising food prices, G-8 pledged more than 1 trillion yen in emergency aid. But wheat, corn and other crop prices will rise further before the aid reaches the people who urgently need it. That means the money will supply even less food. Efforts to increase local food production are hurt by surging fertilizer and seed prices.

食糧高騰の対策として、G8は1兆円以上の緊急支援を表明した。だが、それが届く間にも小麦やトウモロコシの価格は上がり、援助の実際の量は減っていく。現地で増産しようにも、肥料や種子の値段も急騰している。 

intractable=扱いにくい、手におえない、頑固な)

The summit did even less for rising oil prices. The G-8 responses to the oil woes included urging oil-producing countries to ramp up output and proposing a dialogue between oil consuming and producing nations. But these are unlikely to have immediate effects.

原油高騰では、もっと救いがない。産油国への生産拡大要請や、消費国と産油国との対話といった項目が並んだが、即効性はいかにも乏しい。 

woe=悲痛、苦悩、悲哀) (ramp up output=生産を拡大する、増産する)

It is hardly surprising aid organizations and experts inside and outside Japan harshly criticized the G-8's approach. And there is no peak in sight for oil and food prices.

これでは、内外の援助組織などから厳しく批判する声が上がったのも無理はない。原油や穀物相場が沈静化に向かう兆しは見えない。 

                                                            

The economic gap among developing countries is widening. The economies of emerging countries like China, India and Brazil are on a sharp upward growth trajectory. Most of the Bottom Billion live in countries that have fallen behind in the wave of economic globalization. The economies of these countries are stagnating, or even deteriorating. Many of the countries at the bottom are in Africa, parts of Asia and Central Asia.

途上国といっても、中国やインド、ブラジルなどの新興国は成長軌道を駆け上がっている。ボトム・ビリオンの多くは、経済グローバル化の波に取り残され、停滞し、状況が悪くさえなっている国々に暮らす。アフリカやアジアの一部、中央アジアなどだ。 

(trajectory=軌道) (stagnate=よどむ、活気がなくなる) (deteriorate=悪化する、退廃化する)

World Bank President Robert Zoellick has called these multiple economic crises a "man-made catastrophe." Likely he was thinking of the rush to use grain for biofuels and restrictions on food exports by food-producing countries, which have both driven up food prices.

Speculative bets on higher oil and food prices are also contributing to the crises. For the world's poorest, though, these crises are no different from a natural disaster.

ゼーリック世銀総裁は、世界を覆う複合的な経済危機を「人災」と呼ぶ。バイオ燃料への穀物の転用や農業国の輸出規制が大きいという意味だろう。投機マネーの存在もある。だが、最貧困層にとっては、手の届かない所から降ってきた天災のようなものだ。 

NGOs and researchers, who view the crises as consequences of "casino capitalism," called for restrictions on speculative investments and a ban on producing biofuels with grains. But these ideas got no serious response at the summit.

NGOや研究者はこうした経済を「カジノ資本主義」とみなし、投機マネーの規制や、穀物を使ったバイオ燃料の生産禁止を求めた。しかし、サミットからのまともな返答はなかった。 

That is not to say the industrial nations have not been eager to tackle poverty. They have proposed forgiving the poorest countries' massive debts and increasing aid. In recent years, they have stepped up their efforts to help struggling countries in Africa.

先進国側が貧困対策に不熱心であったわけではない。累積債務解消や援助増を呼びかけ、ここ数年はとくにアフリカ問題での取り組みを強めてきた。 

Rising food and oil prices are causing more and more people to join the ranks of the poor and needy. Deepening anger and resentment among people at the bottom of society could threaten stability in developing countries.

食糧や原油高騰は新しい貧困層を生んでいる。社会の底辺からの不満は途上国の安定を揺るがしかねない。

(resentment=憤慨、憤り、恨み、敵意  発音注意:リントメントと濁った音で発音させる)

Industrial nations must keep working to figure out effective ways to solve the problems facing those who fall behind the rest of mankind because of globalization.

グローバル化から落ちこぼれた人々の苦境にどう手を差し伸べるか。先進国は具体策を模索し続けなければならない。

--The Asahi Shimbun, July 11(IHT/Asahi: July 12,2008)

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