Following three decades of progress, improvements in the welfare of children and other vulnerable groups worldwide began to falter in the mid-1970s. World recession, and in particular the debt crisis in Latin America and African famine, have seriously affected economic development programs in
less developed countries. At the same time, however, large-scale health programs have had a noticeable impact. This study both illustrates the extent of the current crisis and points to the successes to show how welfare policies can--and must--become part of national planning even when the economy
is in crisis.