UN development chief calls for pro-poor share as countries strive to boost growth
Beijing – United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Administrator Helen Clark marked International Day for the Eradication of Poverty today calling on countries to invest in job creation for areas where poor people work and to set up social safety nets to protect low-income livelihoods when shocks occur.
“Well designed social protection systems support children staying in schools, whole families getting enough nutritious food, and people being able to build their capabilities overall,” Helen Clark said during a high-level forum hosted in Beijing by the Government of China and the UN family.
More than 200 representatives from over 30 countries exchanged ideas at the forum on how best to accelerate and achieve long-term poverty reduction in China which more than halved the number of people living in rural poverty, from 85 to 36 million, between 1990 and 2009.
Government leaders, policy makers, development practitioners and other members of the international community attended the 2011 Global Poverty Reduction and Development Forum, co-organized by the International Poverty Reduction Centre in China and UNDP.
Helen Clark reminded delegates that while enormous progress has been made, particularly in East Asia, nearly 1.5 billion people are still living on less than US$1.25 a day and are in need of greater levels of assistance and protection.
Forums like the one held on 17 October were important in sharing experiences and ongoing innovations between countries seeking to design their own inclusive and sustainable pathways to reducing poverty and attaining the Millennium Development Goals.
UNDP China also marked International Day for the Eradication of Poverty with an award ceremony and exhibition of photos from among 32,000 submitted for the ‘Zoom-in on Poverty’ photo contest organized in conjunction with the Xinhua News Agency.
“The pictures remind us how far the world still has to go to eradicate poverty, and of the need to put people at the centre of our thinking and actions – to ensure that economic growth is inclusive, and to give all people the opportunity to participate in the development process,” Helen Clark added.