New Internationalist

A month in the life of the Majority World

Issue 421

Orthodox economists once predicted that the Majority World would not be affected by the meltdown. But, as pictures taken during just one month – January 2009 – show, that is not the case.

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5 January  INDONESIA

A man carries a box of detergent on to a traditional schooner at Sunda Kelapa port, Jakarta. The Government announces it will spend over 72 trillion rupiah ($6.55 billion) on infrastructure and other projects in 2009 in a bid to lift the failing economy and create new jobs.

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20 January INDIA

Workers scuffle with police during a rally in New Delhi. Thousands protest against what they claim is the indifference and inaction of the Government in the face of mounting job losses, wage cuts and factory closures throughout the country.

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22 January  SOUTH KOREA

At a rally in Seoul, a member of the Korean Metal Workers’ Union shouts slogans against Government-led restructuring plans. The head-band reads: ‘Unity and Fighting’. South Korea’s economy suffers its second-biggest contraction on record as exports slump by a half.

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22 January  CHINA

A woman bakes bread for sale on a street in an old neighbourhood of Shanghai. China’s economic growth slumps to a seven-year low. There is widespread unrest as factories close and urban migrants are forced to return to the countryside. In January 2009 the Government admits that some 20 million of them are effectively unemployed.

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24 January  BRAZIL

Union activists protest against rising unemployment in Sâo Jose dos Campos. Plunging factory output and mounting job losses hit Latin America’s biggest economy - 655,000 jobs were lost in December 2008 alone, the biggest fall in a decade.

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