Stories tagged: poverty reduction

14 Ways Agriculture is Reducing Poverty

“Only by putting the poorest in charge of their own lives and destinies, will absolute poverty and deprivation be removed from the face of the earth.”

These words came from Sir Fazle Hasan Abed, 2015 winner of the prestigious World Food Prize, which was announced this summer. To celebrate the prize giving in Des Moines this October at the Borlaug Dialogue, we are delving into the ways our supporters around the world are using agriculture as a means to empower the poorest in the latest instalment in our “content mash-up” series.

Read on to find out how farmers are being helped to graduate to more sustainable livelihoods… Continue reading

How can we reduce poverty around the world?

Part 2 of our infographic, “Agriculture and the Green Economy“, looks at the problem of 1.4 billion people living in poverty in the world, and agriculture’s potential for reducing that number. Click on the image below to go to the full infographic where you can also embed this image or tweet it.

Part 1 – How can we feed future generations?

The 2010 Global Hunger Index

The 2010 Global Hunger Index (GHI) offers a useful multidimensional overview of global, regional and national hunger. The 2010 GHI shows some improvement over the 1990 GHI, falling by almost one-quarter, but overall the index for hunger in the world remains at a level characterised as serious.

The GHI is calculated on 3 dimensions: insufficient availability of calories, shortfalls in the nutritional status of children, and child mortality. The Index ranks countries on a 100-point scale, with 0 being the best score (no hunger) and 100 being the worst, although neither of these extreme is ever reached in practice. Values less than 5.0 reflect low hunger, between 5.0 and 9.9 reflect moderate hunger, between 10.0 and 19.9 indicate a serious problem, and above 20.0 the situation is alarming.

The GHI also shows that progress in hunger reduction often goes hand in hand with poverty reduction.

The concept of the GHI is explained in the full report, and the online interactive map, shown above, illustrates the hunger rates around the world.

The GHI 2010 report is now available in English, German, French, Spanish, and Italian and as e-book and iphone application.

Poverty Reduction: Three Recent Reports

In preparation for the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals next week, three recently published reports on poverty will be presented on Friday 17 September at the UN Headquarters in New York. Poverty reduction is a central figure of the international development agenda, and strategies and policies to address it are multiple.

The event this week will offer a platform to debate the most effective ways at reducing poverty rates around the world. The discussion will include presentations by the UN Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD), UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA), and the Chronic Poverty Research Centre.

Each of the reports featured at the discussion address different facets of poverty-reduction, but together they examine what works and what has gone wrong in international policy decisions, and the range of measures that countries can adopt to alleviate poverty.

The following offers a short summary of each report:

Rethinking Poverty: Report on the World Social Situation 2010: UNDESA

  • Disputes the contemporary vision of poverty reduction and affirms that eradicating poverty requires actions leading to sustainable economic growth, employment creation and social development as an integrated framework of economic and social policies.

The commitment made in the MDGs is to eradicate absolute poverty by halving the number of people living on less than US$1.25 a day.

Combating Poverty and Inequality: Structural Change, Social Policy and Politics: UNRISD

  • Seeks to explain why people are poor and why inequalities exist, and argues that eradicating poverty requires actions that combine economic development objectives with active social policies and forms of politics that elevate the interests of the poor in public policy.

Escaping Poverty Traps (The Chronic Poverty Report 2008-09): CPRC

  • Explains five main traps that underpin chronic poverty and outlines key policy responses to these areas, emphasising the need for a ‘just social compact’ between citizens and states.

The number of people living on less than US$1.25 a day declined from 1.9 billion in 1981 to 1.4 billion in 2005.

New Website Helps to Boost Regional Trade Integration in Southern Africa

Picture 3A new website ‘Trade Mark SA’ is providing a platform to discuss how to improve southern Africa’s trade performance and competitiveness for the benefit of poverty reduction in the SADC and COMESA regions.

TMSA is a DFID-funded project involved in supporting and strengthening regional integration and trade issues in Southern Africa. The programme addresses current restraints to trade and proposes solutions, helping to assist African countries and their Regional Economic Communities in order to raise higher growth rates, deepen economic integration reduce trade barriers, build better infrastructure, increase levels of investment, increase competitivenesss, expand exports to regional and international markets, and create more productive jobs for women and men.

The site offers:

  • RSS: Users can subscribe to RSS feeds on topics of interest. This includes country and thematic news feeds, with the option of following a BRIC-focused news feed that is specially compiled to show all activities by the BRIC countries in the region.
  • Reports: The “Seen This?” section on the home page captures new reports issues be other agencies.
  • Events: The site offers a comprehensive calendar of events taking place in southern Africa month by month.
  • Transport map: An interactive map shows the current transportation links throughout the region, covering roads, rail networks, ports and energy lines.

A sister project to Trade Mark SA focuses on promoting regional trade and economic integration in East Africa. Trade Mark East Africa functions throughout the EAC region, working with governments, business and civil society organisations to deepen regional integration for the benefit of East Africa’s development.

The Africa Partnership Forum’s 2010 Strategy Prioritises Food Security and Climate Change

On 25th January, the 13th session of the Africa Partnership Forum (APF) was held in Addis Ababa to discuss the outcomes of the international summits of 2009, and the prospects for economic growth in Africa in 2010.  The APF, whose members consist of African leaders, the G8, the OECD and other development partners, is concerned with strengthening partnerships in favour of Africa’s development. In light of the economic crisis, food security issues and climate change, delegates warned that there is an increased need for action at national, regional and global levels.  In the joint statement, the Forum specified the following as essential incentives to put into action:

Designating food security as one of the top priorities for development aid in 2010, the Forum affirmed their commitment to seeing through the promises made in 2009, including: 

  • The L’Aquila pledge made by G8 leaders of $20 billion to boost food supplies to poorer nations, and help countries develop their own agriculture.
  • Continued support to CAADP, to boost agricultural productivity in Africa, through land and water management, market access, food supply and research. 
  • The Maputo agreement made by African leaders to allocate 10% of their national budgets to agriculture.

Combating climate change, the Forum agreed, was critical to achieving sustainable development and poverty reduction, and in particular for resolving the current food insecurity issues. Looking ahead to 2010, the Forum reiterated the actions agreed upon at Copenhagen, including:

  • A reduction in carbon emissions by 2020 to prevent global temperatures increasing by more than 2 degrees Celsius.
  • Advancements in technological transfers and capacity-building.
  • Immediate disbursement of short-term funding of $30 billion and further work undertaken to secure long-term funding of $100 billion a year.

The Forum also addressed development finance and healthcare in Africa, as key areas that have been greatly affected by the financial crisis.  Advocating for a sustained political effort during 2010, the Forum stressed the need to readdress policies for development finance over the next five years. With regards to healthcare, they proposed an increase in investment in Africa’s health systems. Finally, the Forum finalised the AU/NEPAD Africa Action Plan, which aims to maximise the investment in African development from 2010-2015, in an effort to help Africa get back on track to meeting the Millennium Development Goals.