Our generation has experienced unprecedented progress in the reduction of global poverty. Millions of poor have come out of poverty in India, China, Brazil, South Africa, Pakistan and other countries. However, poverty is still threatening million around the globe and is still a serious cause for conflicts, violence and instability.
I believe that advancing the following issues will have a more profound impact on poverty reduction in the decades to come:
In general terms, economic growth has played a critical role in mitigating global poverty. Developments in technology, access to finance and globalization have been at the core of economic growth that has enabled many countries to escape poverty. Accelerated by these factors, economic growth will continue to play an important role in poverty reduction in the years to come.
Innovations in technology have enhanced the poor’s capacity to deal with poverty. Developments in telecommunication technology such as mobile phones and online markets have enabled millions around the globe to use for building small and medium size businesses.
Technology also helps them access inputs and market their products globally. These technology improvements and affordable use in underprivileged areas will have a profound impact on enabling the poor to fight poverty.
Access to Finance
Access to small loans has accelerated economic growth in many poor societies and has helped them come out of poverty. The poor’s ability to access finance, particularly micro-finance, has helped millions in countries such as Bangladesh to start and maintain small businesses. Underprivileged people’s access to finance has helped remove the middlemen who used to charge outrageous interest on their loans to the poor.
Now, legal microfinance schemes have enabled poor women and men in rural areas to benefit from the profits of goods and services they produce more directly.
Globalization has played an important role in economic growth for global societies. Various facets of globalization, such as improvements in communication technology including the internet, transportation hubs, the proliferation of knowledge and skills across national boundaries, the connection and remittance of the diaspora to local communities and the use of the English language, have helped many depressed societies.
A second major and critical development in the global poverty reduction campaign is the development and empowerment of women. Women’s empowerment has enabled them to undertake non-traditional jobs outside their homes making them more productive citizens as well as better equipped to deal with poverty.
Women’s ability to contribute more efficiently to society has eased the burden of dealing with poverty in their societies. Better access to education and other technical skills and improvements in women’s rights coupled with targeted programs promoting women’s entrepreneurship has played an important role in poverty reduction.
Afghanistan, a country grappling with poverty, needs to learn from these suggestions. The Afghan government and other stakeholders including civil society should lobby for and implement policies that targets poverty. Maintaining strong economic growth, which was nearly at 10 percent in the past decade, and improvement in Afghan women’s access to education and participation in the economy needs to continue to help transform Afghanistan into a more prosperous society.
Note: The article was also published here: http://www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/poverty-fight-global-249/