Development Cooperation Handbook/Goal 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
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The World has enough food for all but millions of people still suffer from hunger.
The MDG1 aims at removing the factors responsible for poverty.
Most developing countries have good rates of economic growth; but the gap between the rich and the poor is widening.
The proportion of people living on less than $1 a day has decreased but 925 million people still suffer from chronic hunger. One in every five children in the developing world is still underweight.
In the world, 22% people still live on less than 1.25 dollars a day. There are countries like Liberia and Sierra Leone where high percentages of the population live in misery.
The impact of poverty is the hardest on the most vulnerable groups of the poorest segments of the population. - children, women and disabled. Children that are malnourished when they reach their second birthday, could suffer permanent physical and cognitive damage.
MDG 1 - Targets
|GOAL 1: Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Shiva Kumar Development economist
Importance of MDGs in redefining the Poverty
What is poverty? If you look at it only as income deprivation then you are missing the whole point. Because you have to look at the poverty of opportunity. We always say that income is an outcome, so if I find that this person is earning I need to know why. I have to ask the question why you are earning less and this you will always trace it back to income opportunities. Did not have adequate education, you did not have adequate command over resources, health.
Examples of how development and progress is not just per capita income indicators, gdp, etc.
Delhi where below poverty line is 8% but malnourishment under 5 is 33%. One of the biggest concern in Delhi is security of women (not just at night but public spaces, work place, etc.)
Under 5 mortality rate is a very strong indicator of development. This depends on income but also on education. When women are literate under mortality rate drops. It depends also on the quality of water, sanitation. So when you say you will reduce under 5 mortality rate you are fundamentally talking about major changes in the standard of living. In India it is also about women position of women in society; so comes when women do paid work outside, a change in the thinking of society is created. Income gives a greater voice, changes power relations, possibility to talk to many other people. It is the opportunity that she gets with the income.
What I really like about the MDGs is that it has thrown up a lot of discussions and what you find in terms of a follow through of the MDGs, is that there is no one solution. What works in Nicaragua may not work in Mexico, may not work in South Africa. Thailand said, we have already achieved Universal Education, our Mortality Rate is very low, what do you expect Thailand to do? So they launched MDG +, which said we have to achieve more. Bhutan added MDG 9 and said “zero tolerance for corruption” and they said that by 2020 Bhutan must be free from all types of corruption. So the nice thing about the MDGs was that, the UN said that all the countries must adopt it and must adapt it and localize it. So when you localize the MDGs then the debate becomes not at a global level of ideas but much more practical in terms of policies and programs and what are you doing about it.
The news papers cannot just cover the growth story of India, you also have to look at what is happening to the lives of people. Can we confidently stand up and say the environment is better in India.? Can we confidently stand up and say the quality of schooling has improved? Can India confidently say that access of drinking water is much better? Because progress in society has to be measured by these indicators of human development. The other very important idea that is slowly gaining in is the idea of Human Right. When you talked about human rights the idea would focus largely on civil and political rights. But with the MDGs the economic, social and cultural rights gained importance and now they have to be put into the same level. You cannot say that economic and social rights are more important than civil and political rights. So what that you don’t have the right to vote, like in Myanmar, but the state is providing for everything… it is not, it is not sustainable. If you ask today why have many development projects or poverty alleviation projects suffered. They will tell you it was top-down and the community level, whose life it was supposed to influence and change, had very little say. There was no sense of ownership, there was no participation. So now with the Human Rights discourse , and saying that both economic and social rights, cultural right as well as civil and political have to be taken together, there is much greater recognition in the world of adopting a rights based approach to development.
The main factor of poverty is the poverty existing in people’s minds – for instance, a farmer with 10 acres land who says that he has no food for the next two months. People’s mind sets will need to be changed.
Julian Parr, the Regional Manager South East Asia, Oxfam GB
What are the factors which generate poverty?
The failure for India, although it has made advances and taken good steps forward, is around equitable and inclusive economic growth. We are seeing a massive rise in the Indian economy but that growth is very uneven. It is about the Geni Coefficiency curve. If you see, there is a dip coming in that Geni Coefficiency curve which is very worrying. If you get that dip, you move towards highly unstable societies and you start getting high unemployment, less inclusion we start moving towards failed states like Afghanistan, Pakistan that is tottering on the brink as well. And this is because there is a huge dispossessed and disgruntled element of society. So you see some of the goals being met but in terms of infant mortality, maternal mortality – the numbers are really horrifying.
What kind of knowledge is required to remove poverty?
One of the biggest challenges that developing economies like India have, and South Asia generally, is that they have a huge young population where half the population is less than 15 years old. So, India has got to create jobs on a large scale - challenges it has never faced before. In order to do that is has to scale its workforce up. It has got to move them from the informal low-grade economy into the formal economy. India is at the moment famous for its intellectual exports around IT, medical...but that is just a tiny tip of the iceberg... so it is going to be about vocational training, access to the internet, only just about 5% of Indians have access to internet right now. It is getting that access to knowledge and resources that is a huge challenge.
Do you think availability of resources play a role in the generation or removal of poverty?
Access to resources, pro-poor policies, putting in place social services and social safety nets, etc. - make a huge difference. India is taking some steps in the right direction. Specifically concerning the MDGs, around access to water, for example, there have been positive steps. I think more people now have access to potable water in India. The wider issue, the wider problem for the future of the whole South Asia is going to be water. It is going to be a huge challenge for the region
M.S. Ahluwalia, - Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, India
Low productivity, low access to resource, not having education and the economy not generating productive jobs. This is what underdevelopment means.
Poverty is not to be just defined in income earning possibility, it is also access to essential service… like health, electrification, clean drinking water, sanitation. These are very important part in the efforts to remove poverty and the Government is involved in all of them.
Danièle Smadja - EU Ambassador to India.
What do you think are the factors which create poverty?
"The first two things which come to my mind, since i am in India is 'Inclusion'.
What strikes me here is that even thought there is a very high economic growth for many years but they do not manage to make the benefit of this growth inclusive and as a result there are 400 million people under 1 dollar a day.
The second thing is education. So many people are uneducated, the illiteracy rate is quite high. In addition to this there are also so many disparities between people. There are other factors too, but inclusion and education are the most important which come to my mind."
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