PRESSURES of globalisation are making conditions worse for
communities across the world already living in poverty, a new
report by the Roman Catholic aid agency CAFOD suggests.
Setting the Post-2015 development compass: voices from the
ground was published on Tuesday of last
week. Researchers spoke to 1420 people in 56 impoverished
communities in Uganda, Bolivia, the Philippines, and Zimbabwe, and
found that, despite development projects in many of the places they
visited, the people were getting poorer because of external
pressures beyond their control. These included environmental
degradation, violent conflict, forced displacement, rapid changes
in the prices paid to farmers, resource depletion, natural
disasters, and political and economic crises.
CAFOD plans to use its findings as part of international
discussions on how to make the successor to the Millennium
Development Goals more effective in reducing poverty. The goals,
which were adopted in 2000 by all 189 United Nations member states,
and 23 international organisations, set eight targets, among them
the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger.
In 2015, world leaders will meet to consider the success - or
otherwise - of the goals, and what new framework should replace
CAFOD's lead post-MDGs policy analyst, Neva Frecheville, said:
"Some of the issues focused on in the MDGs have seen real
improvements, from reducing the number of people living on very low
incomes to increasing people's access to medicines for HIV.
"But what this research reveals above all is that poverty is
hugely complex, and controlled by myriad forces. The
interconnectedness of the world through globalisation means the
poorest and most marginalised face negative pressures from all
quarters, making it harder and harder to sustain a livelihood.
"Policy-makers have a responsibility to include the voices of
those whose lives are most difficult, and to make their interests a
priority in the post-2015 process."
The report can be downloaded here.