International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Job creation effective way to fight poverty
ISLAMABAD, October 17, 2010: Decent and productive work is one of the most effective ways to fight poverty and accelerate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, says the United Nations Millennium Campaign in observance of the 2010 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.
This year’s observance focuses on decent work, meaningful employment, income-generating livelihoods under the theme of ‘From Poverty to Decent Work: Bridging the Gap.’ The theme underlines that combating poverty is linked to the satisfaction of basic social needs, including education, health, food, sanitation, shelter and clothing, as well as the provision of sufficient work opportunities as stipulated in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
“Different facets of poverty are manifested in every MDG being off track. When a child doesn’t go to school or a family cannot afford health or sanitation, the underlining cause is poverty,” says Minar Pimple, director of the UN Millennium Campaign Asia and the Pacific Regional Office.
Almost 70% of the world’s poor live in Asia and the Pacific region, according to the UN Asia-Pacific Regional MDG Report 2009-10. Whilst Asia and the Pacific is anticipated to serve as the engine that pulls the global economy out of recession, the same report shows a contrast picture to that speculation. Hundreds of millions of people in this region are still left in appalling destitution -- living on less than $1.25 a day, lacking clean water and sanitation, their families devastated by the tragic and needless deaths of mothers and children.
“Asia and the Pacific region are at greater risk of losing development gains made during the past decade and even plunging deeper into poverty should the global economic crisis persist. Thus the fight against poverty is of extreme urgency and should be put at the forefront of national development policy. It must go hand in hand with efforts to accelerate the achievement of the MDGs,” he continues.
A clear resonance of the global call against poverty was made last month when millions of people around the globe joined the annual Stand Up Take Action Make Noise campaign, sending a message to end poverty to the world leaders gathering at the Millennium Development Goals Summit in New York.
The subsequent MDG Summit agreed on an action agenda to intensify the global poverty fight, recognizing the importance and urgency of investing in economic and social policies that foster job creation and promoting decent labour conditions as measures to eradicating poverty, strengthening economies and building peaceful and stable societies.
Echoing the UN secretary-general’s message on this occasion, Mr. Pimple emphasises, “Widespread economic uncertainty and fiscal austerity should not be excuses to do less. Rather, they are reasons to do more to meet the target of ending global poverty by the 2015 target. One way of doing so is to strive to expand job opportunities and safe working conditions everywhere.”