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Global aid, local focus: the mission to end poverty by 2030 (France24)
October 17, 2018
By Khatya Chhor
From the article:
As the UN marks the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on Wednesday, aid experts say donors must work closely with local governments, which in turn must do more to foster the economic growth that could lift millions out of poverty.
In the last 25 years more than 1 billion people have emerged from extreme poverty and the global poverty rate is now lower than at any other time in history, according to the World Bank.
The UN’s Millennium Development Goals of 2000 agreed to halve the number of people living in extreme poverty and hunger by 2015, a goal that was met ahead of schedule. The poverty rate fell from nearly 36 percent in 1990 to 10 percent in 2015 (the latest World Bank figures available) – or an average of 1 percent a year. The bank forecasts that extreme poverty rates will have declined further, to 8.6 percent, by the end of 2018.
Helping states succeed
Experts in development have long considered the merits of “top-down” versus “bottom-up” approaches. And with the number of people living in fragile or failing states rising sharply, the question of whether aid is more effective when provided directly to governments or to NGOs providing relief and community services on the ground seems as pertinent as ever.
“When it comes to who to give the aid to, the answer is 'that depends',” said Charles Kenny, a senior fellow at the Washington-based Center for Global Development think tank. “In most cases, working with governments to help them do more or do better at delivering the infrastructure and services they are already providing to citizens is the most sustainable and effective way to help.”
“But sometimes, especially when the aim is to help keep governments themselves to account, it is better to work through NGOs.”