The huge, warm Dhaka University Hall is packed and vibrant with over a thousand guests from across South Asia on May 30. Bangladesh Prime Minister Hon’ble Sheikh Hasina MP herself just opened the regional conference. A prominent government leader, her commitment to the right to food is a welcome shot in the arm, energizing us after a long wait in sweltering heat.
Poverty reduction is not new in the developmental sector. Once you start talking about it, there’s no stopping to it. For decades, world leaders have unanimously agreed that sustainable growth is not possible unless poverty is reduced. Even US President Barack Obama recently called for the eradication of poverty by 2030.
In early April, a conference on extreme poverty in Asia was organized by the USAID in collaboration with UNCDF. Fighting against poverty has become one of the missions of USAID and this clearly links to the call of the US President Barack Obama for eradication of poverty by 2030.
Despite recent strides made against poverty in Asia lifting millions out of deprivation, still large numbers of people are facing injustice of poverty, hunger and inequality. Some Asian countries have made significant structural transformation including land reforms to evenly distribute land; however others have been unsuccessful in bringing these very basic and fundamental reforms to address poverty and inequality.
The Answer is Nothing.
Many things have happened behind the scenes since the launch of Even It Up Campaign last year both inside and outside Oxfam. Following Oxfam’s own report revealing the World Bank’s private-lending arm, the IRC, with similar findings, the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) launched yesterday (April 16). The report, called Evicted and Abandoned, was an expose of abusive and unaccountable World Bank lending programs which were supposed to bring millions of lives out of poverty but ended up not only plunging them further into the cycle but also displacing them.