Topic of The Month

Combating Poverty

July 2024

Eradicating extreme poverty (ie managing with less than USD2.15 per day) is a central goal of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. However, in Asia and Europe, the COVID-19 pandemic, the conflict in Ukraine, inflation and rising energy prices have led to an increase in the number of people living in poverty. Recent estimates from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) indicate that, compared to pre-pandemic figures, an additional 67.8 million people were living in extreme poverty in developing Asia in 2022. In the EU, statistics from the European Commission show that almost 95 million people are at risk of poverty or social exclusion.  In the 2024 European Parliament elections, the Eurobarometer put poverty, cost of living crisis and social exclusion as the number one issue for voters.   

To tackle poverty, the EU has allocated €100 billion from 2021 to 2027 through the European Social Fund to improve job opportunities and reduce social isolation.  The ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on Rural Development and Poverty Eradication (AMRDPE) and ADB are working on measures, such as revitalising rural livelihoods, strengthening social safety nets and fostering investment and innovation.  Strengthening global partnerships and international cooperation is a key strategy, to help mobilise resources and share knowledge.  The upcoming UN High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development in July 2024 will review specific SDGs, including ending poverty and hunger (1&2), and revitalising global partnership (17), underscoring the importance of international cooperation in tackling these challenges. The EU’s development policy aims to foster sustainable development and stability by investing in education and skills development, and enhancing institutional capacity in developing countries. ASEF will also be organising a one-day expert workshop in September 2024 on “A Rights-Based Approach to Poverty Reduction:  Experiences and Lessons from Asia and Europe”.

 

Read more: 

Kanni Wingnaraja, Philip Schellekens (13 October 2023) “Cohesive societies, competitive economies: Tackling remaining poverty in Asia and the Pacific” UNDP

Miguel Rafael V. Musngi (27 March 2024) “Prosperity for All: Reducing Poverty and Promoting Inclusive Growth in ASEAN” The ASEAN Magazine

ATD Fourth World (19 March 2024) “Towards The Eradication Of Poverty”


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