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    Monday, October 16, 2017

    International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: What prevents us from going forward

    "Poverty takes lives, children, ideas, prosperity, security and love away from us. When individuals live a healthy life, they're empowered to break the vicious cycle of poverty. These are the things that stop us from eradicating poverty once and for all."

    A distinctive feature of the 2030 Agenda is its emphasis on eradicating poverty in all its forms, including extreme poverty. The Agenda also seeks to reach the poorest and most vulnerable. Achieving the 2030 Agenda requires creating broad policy coalitions and meaningful partnerships, including the active engagement of a broad range of stakeholders.

    Much needs to be done to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. The latest data show that 1 in 8 people still lived in extreme poverty in 2012; 1 in 4 children under age 5 had stunted growth in 2014; 59 million children of primary school age were out of school in 2013; 5.9 million children died before they reached age 5; 1.1 billion people were living without electricity; and water scarcity affected more than 2 billion people; 880 million people lived in urban slums in 2014; the births of more than one in four children under age 5 worldwide go unrecorded; the youth unemployment rate was 15 per cent—more than three times the rate for adults.

    We notice that lack of access to financing is one of the most concrete barriers faced by people living in poverty and the most vulnerable, and the financial inclusion is critical in reducing poverty and achieving inclusive economic growth. However, financial exclusion remains a persistent constraint for people living in poverty and disadvantaged and marginalized groups. Women, youth, persons with disabilities, older persons, and indigenous peoples represent a disproportionately large share of the world’s unbanked population, and the record of commercial financial institutions has been weak in banking these groups. Such bias makes it harder to eradicate poverty.

    It is necessary to join hands and find innovative and effective financing tools to get people out of poverty. This includes harnessing the power of mobile banking and improving access to microcredit to smallholder farmers and youth entrepreneurs.

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