Dr Md Rajja
A poverty-free world is a global dream of our era. Today we have enough resources, knowledge and techniques to invest to eradicate and exclude poverty for the sake of human dignity, peace and stability in the world.
Nepal’s constitution recognises the rights to health, education and livelihood as basic human rights of the people. Nepal has declared its aim to eradicate poverty and endorsed MDGs as its goal by unlocking potential of growth and equity. Apart from many positive changes in promoting quality of life, the poverty situation in South Asia is not changing significantly. About 110 million people are still living in poverty and experiencing acute hunger and malnutrition. If the progress continues at the present level, it will need more than half a century to eradicate poverty. The present generation will not be able to watch the change into a poverty-free world. Ending poverty needs a clear understanding and causes of poverty. It should have review and reflection on the situation considering the acute hunger, malnutrition, child mortality, maternal mortality, illiteracy etc. of the marginalised groups.
There is also a clear link between poverty and exclusion in terms of gender, ethnicity, minority and involvement of youth with the development process. Progress in MDG is insignificant and it is not making any change in people’s life. The People’s Forum on MDG is a civil society platform that started its campaign against poverty. There has been campaign to influence change in pro-poor policy to achieve MDGs. There is a need for more campaigning to make government and other global institutions accountable to people’s rights and to ensure actions to end poverty by maintaining transparency of institutions and access to information.
The victims of poverty and exclusion, rooted in the failure of institutions, should identify campaign issues and the process that make them marginalised and excluded. Campaign partners and networks may identify issues such as ending hunger and malnutrition, rights to quality education for all, stopping privatisation of public services like health, education and water, making trade facility for people, ensuring food security for char people and fishermen, debt cancellation to increase spending for public services, compensating victims of climate change.
There is still a need to facilitate poor and marginalised groups and people’s organisations and supporting organisations should listen to the voices of the marginalised communities in South Asia. There is a need for campaigning, advocacy and mobilisation of people to make the governments accountable to the poor and excluded people.
Dr Md Rajja