12 Dec 2014
Magdy Martínez-Solimán, Director, Bureau for Policy and Programme Support
(Photo: Benoit Almeras-Martino/UNDP in DR Congo)
We all know the world has reached the Millennium Development Goal target of halving the proportion of people living on less than $1.25 a day five years ahead of the 2015 deadline.
However, China, India, Brazil, Mexico and the prosperous rise of some African nations contrast with the rest of Southern Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, with close to half of its population still extremely poor.
We need to understand why close to one billion people have been left out of the process. While there are multiple reasons, there are two that require our utmost attention: exclusion and vulnerability to shocks.
To eradicate this kind of poverty we need to deal with what I call the challenge of reaching “the last mile” or the suggestion of “Getting Down to Zero.” The last mile exists both in remote rural areas, as well within cities – where the mile is figurative.
People also remain poor, or are thrown back into poverty, because of conflicts, natural disasters, or some other shocks which families and communities are just unable to cope with.
We can think of the current Ebola outbreak which will erase the gains of peace and development for a generation or more, if we …