An increasing number of middle and low income countries are facing crushing economic strains. From Argentina to Pakistan to Zambia, living costs are rising, economic growth is stalling and absolute poverty is increasing. At the same time, governments are finding it staggeringly difficult to find ways to pay the interest and principal on their vast foreign debts.
In classic bureaucratic language, the IMF and the World Bank call these the “debt distressed countries.” The truth is that the economic conditions, and the policies that governments feel forced to impose, are gravely adding to poverty.
Read the article about debt distress
At the 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development held in Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), member states decided to replace the Millennium Development Goals (established in 2000) with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The first SDG was to ‘end poverty in all its forms everywhere’. Despite the enthusiastic verbiage, it was clear that poverty was simply not going to be ended across the world. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, the data showed that poverty had become intractable.
So how did China eradicate poverty ?
Read Vijay Prashat’s story
UN Special rapporteur Olivier De Schutter just published a report on fighting poverty with decent jobs:
The number of cholera outbreaks in the world continues to grow, as does the number of infections and deaths. Cholera is a well known disease of poverty, and its spread can be contained in a very simple way: by ensuring access to clean water and sanitation. Still, there seems to be little interest among countries in the Global North to support the response to the outbreaks, at least while they remain far from their borders.
Read the new report of People’s Health Dispatch
Economic growth, poverty reduction, and climate action are deeply interlinked: none can move ahead without the other. So why isn’t more happening?
Read the article on Development Matters
The rich get richer, the poor get poorer … wealth is getting extremely concentrated …
Read the report