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Globalisation ‘worsens conditions’ for poor communities

09 August 2013

CAFOD

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 them.

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.

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