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In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, slum dwellers making a living out of the so-called grey economy make about $82 a month.  That compares with $216 for those in the formal sectors of the economy.
In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, slum dwellers making a living out of the so-called grey economy make about $82 a month.  That compares with $216 for those in the formal sectors of the economy.

East Asia, Pacific Lag in Jobs, Services and Infrastructure

Cities across the EAP are not delivering infrastructure, jobs, and services at a pace as rapid as urban development, leading to widening inequalities that may hamper economic growth and lead to social division

East Asia, Pacific Lag in Jobs, Services and Infrastructure

Cities in the most rapidly urbanizing East Asia and the Pacific or EAP, region failed to deliver on jobs, services, and infrastructure, as well as keep pace with urban development, the World Bank reported on Tuesday.
Despite a yearly average of 3% in terms of urbanization that lifted 655 million people out of poverty in the last two decades, EAP has the largest slum population in the world at 251.5 million people, according to the report "Expanding Opportunities for the Urban Poor," GMA News reported.
The slums are beset by poor quality housing, limited access to basic services, and at risk of hazards such as flooding, the report noted.
"Cities across the EAP are not delivering infrastructure, jobs, and services at a pace as rapid as urban development, leading to widening inequalities that may hamper economic growth and lead to social division," the WB said. "Failure to expand opportunities for the urban poor impacts the countries' potential," it said.
Among the challenges facing the urban poor are lack of access to jobs, affordable housing and public transport and other infrastructure, the report noted.

Guiding Principles
"Cities across East Asia have propelled the region's tremendous growth. Our collective challenge is to expand opportunities to all in the cities—from new migrants living in the peripheries to factory workers struggling to pay rent—so that they can benefit more from urbanization and help fuel even stronger growth," WB vice president for East Asia and the Pacific Victoria Kwakwa said.
An estimated 75 million people live on less than $3.10 a day or below the poverty line, making it difficult for people to rise above their living conditions.
"Rapid urbanization is a challenge and an opportunity. Provide low-income residents with affordable transport services or housing, so they can save for their children's education. Ensure that social protection programs are in place to help families cope during difficult time, such as in the aftermath of natural disasters," World Bank lead urban specialist Judy Baker said.
WB recommends that these guiding principles be adapted to foster economic growth and reduce poverty:
- Connect the urban poor to job markets
- Invest in urban planning
- Ensure affordable land and housing
- Recognize the rights or all citizens to the city
- Target marginalized sub-groups among the poor
- Strengthen local governance and embracing citizen engagement
- Invest in better data and information systems for evidence-based policy making
- By 2018, half of the region's population or more than 1.2 billion people will be among the urban poor, the multilateral lender said.

Examples of Inclusive Urbanization
It cited Japan, South Korea and Singapore as examples of inclusive urbanization. "In high-income countries such as Japan and Korea, inclusive urbanization created the space for higher economic growth," it said.
"Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Singapore's economy grew at an average of 8% annually, thanks to effective urban planning strategy that delivered effective infrastructure, affordable housing and social services," it added.
Singapore is a "beacon of inclusion" with its transportation system and housing and public health programs, the World Bank said.
"Urbanization if managed well can cause great space for growth," said Abhas Jha, the lender's sector manager for transport, urban and disaster risk management.
Half the populations of China, Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines now live in cities.
In Yogyakarta, Indonesia, slum dwellers making a living out of the so-called grey economy make about $82 a month. That compares with $216 for those in the formal sectors of the economy.
Poor sanitation in Jakarta's slums have led to a higher risk of water contamination, water-borne diseases and disability.
Most roads in the slums in the region are without sidewalks, and too narrow for larger public transport vehicles. This means costly and lengthy commutes to workplaces. Many cities are banning means of transportation favored by the poor, as rickshaws in Jakarta and trishaws in Wuhan, China.
Transport policies, which mostly involve traffic rerouting and the construction of more roads, are seen as serving the rich as the policies tend to revolve around private cars and their owners.
The World Bank said governments need to revise policies to connect the urban poor to better-paying, more secure jobs, and open lending opportunities to the these groups.

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