More than 1.4 billion people live in poverty so extreme that they can barely survive, and around 25,000 people die from hunger each day whilst a new billionaire is created every second day. The call for a global safety net has never been so urgent - and compels the international community to transform economic priorities and guarantee the universal securing of basic human needs.
There is a growing consensus among different UN organisations that poverty reduction strategies cannot be disassociated from wider socio-economic development. Only once developing countries are given the freedom to introduce transformative reforms will progress occur, says Francine Mestrum.
The Millennium Development Goals address the symptoms of poverty and underdevelopment, but ignore their deeper causes. According to a range of different thinkers, a modified or alternative program is needed to address the social and environmental failings of the current model of economic development.
Given the lack of accelerated progress on poverty and inequality since the Millennium Declaration ten years ago, to call for “more of the same” is not the answer. A comprehensive redefinition of our approach to development is needed, says the Social Watch Report 2010.
Poverty reduction strategies and universal targets do not in themselves represent a complete development agenda. At the upcoming UN summit, development practitioners should adopt a more holistic approach that considers broader social and economic issues, writes Francine Mestrum.
As world leaders prepare to discuss the UN's Millennium Development Goals next week, one issue is emerging to challenge the
whole framework of the goals and how they are measured - and that's how
equal they are. This is the subject many don't want on the summit agenda, says Madeleine Bunting.
The world is on track to meet the Millennium Development
Goal on halving the number of people living below the poverty line by
2015. The trouble is that this line – set at a dollar a day – is a
deeply flawed and unreliable measure. We need a radical, new rights-based approach to defining poverty, argues David Woodward.
More than ten years on, global poverty reduction strategies introduced by the World Bank and International Monetary Fund have failed to deliver on the basic promises made to the world’s poorest people, says a report by Minority Rights Group International.