News Selection – Global Poverty
Recent news chosen to illustrate and update Tread Softly briefings on Global Poverty.
People across Africa have to travel far to get to a hospital
13/9/2018: Nearly half of all deaths and about a third of disabilities in low and middle-income countries could be avoided if people had access to emergency care. Most countries in Africa lack data even on the the number of their hospitals. Source: The Conversation
Financing the end of extreme poverty
14/9/2018: New ODI research identifies a funding gap of $125 billion per annum for eradicating poverty in the world's poorest countries. Foreign aid for health, education and social protection will remain essential. Source: ODI
Tread Softly Comment: This report approaches the financial mathematics of ending extreme poverty through the single dimension of providing essential social services. There's no reference to the dependence on conflict resolution, nor to the politics of aid which is currently veering away from poverty reduction towards economic stimulus, job centres and border control. Relevant Briefing: Aid Politics
12 Things We Can Agree On about Global Poverty
27/8/2018: There's a lot of heat on the topic of global poverty, but fundamentally a lot of agreement, too. Here's an attempt at a consensus position from experts on poverty data. Source: Center for Global Development
Tread Softly Comment: A series of helpful concise statements which focus on monetary poverty lines, rightly qualified by references to data shortcomings. However, not one statement refers specifically to inequality, surely an oversight, now that poverty and inequality have become inseparable in economic analysis. Strangely, the tag for the blog remedies the omission. Relevant Briefing: Global Poverty Statistics
No time to slow down while HIV/AIDS is threatening a new generation
27/7/2018: UNICEF's senior HIV/AIDS executive identifies heroes in the 30-year fight against the epidemic, whilst predicting that West and Central Africa will become the region with the highest number of new HIV infections by 2050. Source: Inter Press Service.
Tread Softly Comment: It's worrying that Dr Chewe Luo is writing about projections of HIV infection in 2050 when the Sustainable Development Goals include a target to end the epidemic of AIDS by 2030. Also alarming is her statement that "HIV/AIDS is not under control in West and Central Africa," with the unstated inference that this region has not replicated the leadership on HIV seen in Southern Africa, essential to inspire behaviour change. Relevant Briefing: Should We Care About Poverty?
The end of AIDS is not even nearly in sight, experts warn
20/7/2018: Leading experts warn against complacency in the fight against HIV and AIDS, as new data published ahead of the 22nd International AIDS Conference shows minimal progress. Source: Devex
Tread Softly Comment: As part of the Sustainable Development Goals, governments have signed up to the target to end the epidemic of AIDS by 2030. This entails an interim target of reducing the number of new annual infections below 0.5 million by 2020. In 2017, new infections totalled 1.8 million, only a small improvement on the previous year and still more than half the number when the epidemic was at its peak. Hence the disturbing headline. Relevant Briefing: Should we Care about Poverty
Ghana's booming economy fails to reach the poor
24/6/2018: Ghana is the fastest growing economy in Africa but a UN Rapporteur finds that the rich are getting richer, while a high proportion of the population continues to live in poverty.
Bhutan to graduate from being a Least Developed Country
4/5/2018: The secretary of Bhutan's Gross National Happiness Commission discusses the pros and cons of the country's scheduled graduation from its status as a Least Developed Country.
Social Safety Nets Help Millions Escape Poverty
4/4/2018: A new World Bank report provides. clear evidence that social safety net programs are making a substantial impact in the global fight against poverty.
How is poverty changing for higher poverty lines?
5/3/2018: The interactive chart tool at the end of this article is an excellent resource. Change the region to sub-Saharan Africa and note that extreme poverty numbers have barely changed since 1990.
Intellectual Property Regime Undermines Global Justice
13/2/2018: Developing countries resent the intellectual property regime that has been imposed on them following the establishment of the World Trade Organization. This review examines how powerful corporate lobbies have influenced the rules.