- Oct. 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
Oct. 17: International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty has been observed for 20 years when the United Nations General Assembly designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty worldwide, particularly in developing countries – a goal that lies at the core of OFID’s mission. Since its inception, OFID has committed almost US$16bn in development financing to a total 134 countries.
Read full message of OFID Director-General Mr Suleiman J Al-Herbish to mark the day
The International Day for the Eradication of Poverty also serves to remind us that the world’s poorest people are its most vulnerable. Across the globe, there are over one billion people living in extreme poverty on less than US$1.25 a day. Every day, they are challenged to survive, threatened by the lack of food, energy, clean water, shelter and access to vital social services such as health and education.
The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) reports that nearly 842 million people, or one in eight, suffer from chronic hunger.
The picture is not all bad, however. Between 1990 and 2010, the global poverty rate was cut in half, with the number of people living in extreme poverty falling from 43 percent to 21 percent of the population of developing countries– a reduction of almost one billion people (see graph below). In the same period, the total number of undernourished fell by 17 percent.
Source: World Bank 2010 data
Despite these encouraging trends, extreme poverty remains a serious problem in the world's developing regions, and much remains to be done in order to lift the remaining 1.1 billion people out of extreme poverty in the next 20 years.
For over 37 years, OFID has been fighting poverty in two essential ways:
These aims are summed up in OFID's Vision and Mission.
A priority area for OFID in the global fight against poverty and hunger is the alleviation of energy poverty. Nearly 1.3 billion people, which equates to almost one in every five, live without access to electricity. And in the developing world, around 2.7 billion people - that is one in every three - relies on traditional biomass for heating and cooking.
The importance that OFID gives to energy projects is a manifestation of our recognition that energy is essential for poverty eradication and sustainable development, as it affects all aspects of development: access to water and food, agricultural productivity, education, health, mobility, and every other sector.
This is why, when OFID announced its ‘Energy for the Poor’ initiative six years ago, it proposed to the international community that energy poverty alleviation be an additional Millennium Development Goal (MDG). It is clear to OFID that access to safe, reliable and affordable energy sources is a prerequisite of all MDGs.
The same applies to what has come to be known as the water-food-energy nexus. While both access to water resources and food security were stipulated in the MDGs, the third component of this closely related nexus - energy - was overlooked. OFID is giving the highest priority to the water-energy-food nexus as these three areas are highly interdependent and crucial for combating poverty, helping achieve food security and raising living standards.
As OFID plans for the Decade of Sustainable Energy for All, it will continue to maximize its inner ‘energies’ towards a future with sustainable energy for all. Efforts must continue to impress upon the development community that development is not possible without energy, and that sustainable development is not possible without sustainable energy.
Since its inception, OFID’s preferred method of work has been to collaborate with a wide range of partners, including national governments, multilateral, regional and bilateral development agencies, the private sector, civil society and academia. Today’s development challenges cannot be addressed by any national government or development agency alone.
It is for this reason that OFID has always placed emphasis on strengthening partnerships for development and why we are committed to supporting initiatives that aim to alleviate poverty. These includes the MDGs, which were established by the UN in 2000, and the recent strategy announced by the World Bank Group, one of OFID’s longstanding partners, which aims at mobilizing international and national efforts around two ambitious but achievable goals: to end extreme poverty globally by 2030, and promote shared prosperity.
More recently OFID has also been actively involved in the Busan Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation, a forum bringing together a wide range of countries and organizations from around the world that are committed to ensuring that development co-operation is effective and supports the achievement of results.