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IMF: Child born in BiH will reach only 62 percent of its Productive Potential

A child born in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) today will reach only 62 percent of its productive potential when he or she grows up as compared to children born in countries with best education and health care, according to the World Bank’s Human Capital Index released today at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings.

This new research provides compelling evidence that better children’s health and learning can significantly boost the incomes of people with long term benefits for individuals and the country as a whole.

This research shows that 56 percent of children born today across the world will lose more than half their potential lifetime earnings due to deficiencies in health and education. Governments are responsible to make effective investments in their people to ensure a healthy, educated, and resilient population ready for the workplace of the future. When governments fail in this regard, the future of the population is permanently undermined.

Human capital is the knowledge, skills, and health that people accumulate over their lives. Human capital has been a key factor behind the sustained economic growth and poverty reduction rates of many countries in the 20thcentury.

When assessing education in BiH, the report shows that on average children can expect to complete 11.7 years of schooling by age 18. However, this is only equivalent to 8.6 years of effective education when taking into account the quality of learning.

“The most valuable resource that Bosnia and Herzegovina has is its people; this is its real wealth and the main engine for prosperity that the country can have. But to reach its potential, people need to be healthy and have the skills and education that are needed in the labor market”, said Emanuel Salinas, World Bank Country Manager for Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro. “It is unfortunate that deficiencies in health and education undermine the future of the population and of the country as a whole. It is particularly unfortunate because the Governments spend a significant proportion of their budgets on health and education, but this does not translate into high-quality services for the population. We hope that this report will help to focus the attention of the new governments on the priorities for the country going forward”.

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