UNDP puts forth plan to reduce poverty
New York, June 19, 2010
The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has launched an extensive assessment of what must be done to advance sustainable development and reduce global poverty.
The report, titled "What Will It Take To Achieve The Millennium Development Goals? An International Assessment," identifies a concrete action agenda to inform the outcome of the world leaders’ MDG Summit in New York, this September.
“For the many people living in poverty, the Millennium Development Goals are not abstract and aspirational targets; they offer a means to a better life, and overall a more just and peaceful world,” said UNDP administrator Helen Clark at the launch. “Our hope is that this evidence of tried and tested policies, and this agenda for accelerating the pace of success, informs a positive outcome at the world leaders summit on the MDGs in September", Helen Clark added.
Drawing on evidence of what has worked in 50 countries, UNDP’s report provides an eight-point MDG action agenda to accelerate and sustain development progress over the next five years. The eight points focus on supporting nationally-owned and participatory development; pro-poor, job-rich inclusive growth including the private sector; government investments in social services like health and education; expanding opportunities for women and girls; access to low carbon energy; domestic resource mobilization; and delivery on Official Development Assistance commitments.
From the abolition of primary school fees leading to a surge in enrolment in Ethiopia to innovative health servicing options in Afghanistan reducing under-five child mortality, the report brings forward concrete examples that have worked and can be replicated,even in the poorest countries, to make real progress across the goals.
Rapid improvements in both education and health, the report illustrates, have occurred in countries where there were adequate public expenditures and strong new partnerships.
Evidence found in the Assessment also suggests that reductions in poverty and hunger occur when economic growth is job-rich and boosts agricultural production. Ghana’s nationwide fertiliser subsidy programme, for instance, increased food production by 40 percent and reduced hunger by nine percent between 2003 and 2005.
Other examples include a national rural employment initiative in India which has benefited some 46 million households. The programme guarantees a minimum of 100 days of work for landless labourers and marginal farmers, with almost half being women. Such robust social protection and employment programmes, the report affirms, reduce poverty and reverse inequality. - TradeArabia News Service