FRONTIERS IN DEVELOPMENT 2014: Ending Extreme Poverty has started at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), Washington D.C.. The international conference is hosted by Dr. Raj Shah and invites world leaders widely from politics, academia, development partners and civil society to discuss issues and roads towards ending extreme poverty.
The keynote speech of John Kufuor, Former President of Republic of Ghana, became a wedge to open up a broader discussions to eradicate extreme poverty. “1.4 billion people live on below $1.25 a day. Three out of four people in rural areas are extremely poor. 870 million out of 7.1 billion or one in eight are undernourished. 170 million out of 230 million are malnourished in Africa. 12.5 per cent are in chronically hunger.” With the given situation, Kufuor addressed that women and children would be particularly vulnerable because women risk child death and their own mortality during the time of pregnancy.
Michael Elliott, CEO of One Campaign, chaired the following panel discussion on Extreme Poverty and Post 2015 – Moment of Opportunity. What have MDGs done and have not? “MDGs have mobilised world resources and addressed surrounding issues of poverty, but have not sorted out rout causes of poverty such as climate change and hunger”, says Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International. Erik Solheim, Chair of OECD Development Assistance Committee, agreed the MDGs value that she pointed out. Additionally, he stressed that the success of poverty reduction in the past decades was not only because of MDGs themselves but also leadership. Without country’s requests donors or development partners are unable to contribute their resources to the region’s poverty reduction.
In terms of development actors, Solheim strongly believes in the importance of ODA. “One important role of ODA can e to build system to welcome private capital. The role and proportion of private capital in development has become larger and larger but it cannot fill the blank of ODA.” He was also aware of growing new donors. “Everybody knows that U.S.A. was the largest ODA provider in the world. But no one can believe that United Arab of Emirates (UAE) was the largest donor ‘per capita’ in 2013”, says Solheim.
The conference was continued to thematic discussions. Personally, the session of Brookings Institution was interesting. Their argument is summarised in The Last Mile in Ending Extreme Poverty by Laurence Chandy and Homi Kharas. “To end extreme poverty by 2030, peace, jobs and resilience would be key words. Promoting growth with job creation (e.g. agro-industry for Africa) and distribute generated wealth to the poor through social protection system are ideal approach.”
Frontiers in Development 2014: Ending Extreme Poverty
The Last Mile in Ending Extreme Poverty by Laurence Chandy and Homi Kharas