|AUTHOR||Frances Stewart, Richard Jolly and Andrea Cornia|
|TOPIC||Economic crisis and recovery|
The debt crisis of the 1980s led to a severe recession in almost all African and Latin American countries. IMF and World Bank adjustment programmes required countries to cutback on their expenditures, introduce charges for health and education, and reduce or abolish the minimum wage. Reductions in protection led to the collapse of industrial sectors in many countries, and to high unemployment. Poverty rose and income distribution worsened. Most countries had no or very limited programmes of social protection. This was what came to be known as the ‘lost decade’.