Eradicate Extreme Poverty And Hunger Essay

The progress of the Millennium Development Goals in pictures - An essay, in pictures from Brazil.

This April we went to Brazil for a reporting trip which lasted almost a fortnight. It was a great opportunity to learn about the progress Brazil has made in achieving the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals. We visited Sao Paulo, Recife, Rio-de-Janeiro and many nearby cities and favelas. Below is the MDG-tour in pictures.

Millennium Development Goal # 1 - To eradicate extreme poverty and hunger.
The success of MDG # 1 is also dependant on promoting the cultivation of the naturally growing cactus called Palma for use as a food for human and livestock. I tasted Palma curry in North Eastern arid lands of Cumaru, which is basically bits of cooked succulent spiced cacti in gravy. Along with rice, it tasted heavenly for my curried Indian tongue.

Cultivation of Palmas.

A closer look at the Palmas ... They need very little water to grow abundantly.



The Dragon fruit or Pitaya is a very juicy fruit, originally native to Mexico and South Americas, but now growing abundantly in Asia and Africa. They are also a variety of cacti and do not need over-watering. They have a creamy pulp, rich aroma and are high in calories, sugar and are a local food to farmers.

My hosts in Sao-Paulo introduced me to Dragon-fruit and I am a fan for life of this tasty fruit.

The conditional cash transfer scheme called Bolsa Familia helps in eliminating extreme poverty and so far has reached 22 million families living in extreme poverty and brought them out of it. Check it out in detail here.

The below image is from a presentation by Teresa Campello, The Minister for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation in Rio-de-Janeiro.

Amidst all this food-talk, how can I resist a picture of the lunch comprising of Palak (spinach) rice and dal, coconut and cucumber curry, with Gulab Jamun for dessert to down with cashew fruit juice, I had at an Indian restaurant. It was complete with curry leaves and garnished with coriander.

Sao Paulo has tasty Indian restaurants.

Millennium Development Goal # 2 - To achieve Universal primary Education
According to the Bolsa Familia scheme, to qualify to be a recipient of the conditional cash transfer scheme can be availed only by those families which send their children to the free primary schooling provided by the Federal government. A win-win situation for both the state and the citizens!

Children outside a playground in a favela in Recife discussing football and their school teams.


Millennium Development Goal # 3- Promote gender equality and empower women
One would think it is easy to achieve this MDG 3 in a country where the President is a woman, Ms. Dilma Rouseff. It has far from being easy. But Bolsa Familia is taking women towards empowerment and equality slowly, but surely. The recipients of Bolsa Familia are predominantly women, because the state thinks, "Women are more reliable" in providing for their family.

This is a picture of the author with Ms. Tereza Campello, The Minister for Hunger and Poverty Alleviation in Rio-de-Janeiro after a presentation on Bolsa Familia.


Millennium Development Goal # 4 - Reduce child mortality rates
In 1980, Brazil started a massive campaign of 20 years for Oral Polio Vaccine. The last case of Polio was reported in 1989 and WHO certified Brazil as Polio-free in 1994.
We visited the The Institute of Technology in Immunobiology (Bio-Manguinhos), which is the unit of the Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (Fiocruz) responsible for technology development and production of vaccines, reagents and biopharmaceuticals primarily geared to meet the demands of national public health. It even exports surplus vaccines to over 70 countries.

The Immunobiological Technology Institute (Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz)

A presentation by Dr. Akira Homma, President of strategy and policy, Bio-Manguinhos/Fiocruz presenting the progress of Immunization camps thereby reducing child mortality rates, Rio-de-Janeiro.

Millennium Development Goal # 5 - Improve maternal health
The community health workers volunteering for the NGO, Grupo de Trabalho Em Prevencao Posithivo (GTP) state that maternal health is improved to a large extent and women are nowadays more open to the female condom idea. It is interesting to note that in the large Catholic country of Brazil, abortion is still illegal. The welcoming attitude for female condom helps a lot in maternal health improvement.

A health-worker explaining how to use the female condom in the Coelhos favela in Recife.


The female condoms are distributed free by the GTP NGO in the Coelhos favela.

Millennium Development Goal # 6 - Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
MDG 6 has some success stories coming from the work of NGOs like GTP which gives employment opportunities to the LGBT community and to the people living with AIDS, HIV and sex-workers. It employs workers to educate the people in the favelas, and also in their restaurant kitchens. But at the same time, there is still so much work to be done to eradicate malaria and other diseases.

Children playing adjacent to the accumulation of garbage and sewage water in the favelas in Recife.

Garbage accumulation just in front of houses in the favelas - breeding ground for mosquitoes.

Random Mural in the walls of the favela.

Millennium Development Goal # 7 - Ensure environmental sustainability
Environment and Brazil has a lot to talk about - both positives and negatives. This wave of fresh optimism in the Northern city of Cumaru lends a lot of credibility to the progress of MDG # 7. Details here on World Moms Blog.

The olden way - uncovered water wells leading to the modern covered water cisterns.


Volunteers overseeing the construction of a 16000 litre Water Cisterns, which taps the rainwater, in the semi-arid land of Cumaru.

A completed water cistern with a capacity of 16,000 liters looks like this.


Saplings cultivated in the semi-arid region, thanks to the Cisterns of water store.

Millennium Development Goal # 8 - Develop a global partnership for development
Brazil has made inroads in reducing poverty, improving governance both ntionally and internationally with the conditional cash transfer scheme - Bolsa Familia. It is partnered globally with the African Nations in the South-South Cooperation, and with the BRICS nation. Brazil has so much to offer to the world in terms of learning, partnership for sustained development and social equality.

Sergio Fausto, executive director of the Instituto Fernando Hanrique Cardoso, key advisor to former President Fernando Henrique, and other leaders from the industry and political arena discussing Brazil's role in South-South Cooperation, Democracy in Brazil, Socio-economic schemes for the progress and development of the country and industrial growth. This was at a conference in Sao Paulo with the International Reporting Trip's team.

It is so interesting to note the progress that Brazil has made in achieving the 8 Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations.

This post was written by Purnima Ramakrishnan when she traveled to Brazil in April 2014 with the International Reporting Project as a fellow of Journalism to report on #BrazilMDGs.

Follow Purnima Ramakrishnan on Twitter: www.twitter.com/puma_vinod

Goal 1 aims to "End poverty in all its forms everywhere" and its targets aim to:

1.1 By 2030, eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day

1.2 By 2030, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definitions

1.3 Implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable

1.4 By 2030, ensure that all men and women, in particular the poor and the vulnerable, have equal rights to economic resources, as well as access to basic services, ownership and control over land and other forms of property, inheritance, natural resources, appropriate new technology and financial services, including microfinance

1.5 By 2030, build the resilience of the poor and those in vulnerable situations and reduce their exposure and vulnerability to climate-related extreme events and other economic, social and environmental shocks and disasters

1.a Ensure significant mobilization of resources from a variety of sources, including through enhanced development cooperation, in order to provide adequate and predictable means for developing countries, in particular least developed countries, to implement programmes and policies to end poverty in all its dimensions

1.b Create sound policy frameworks at the national, regional and international levels, based on pro-poor and gender-sensitive development strategies, to support accelerated investment in poverty eradication action More
Future We Want recognizes that, while there has been progress in reducing poverty in some regions, this progress has been uneven and the number of people living in poverty in some countries continues to increase, with women and children constituting the majority of the most affected groups, especially in the least developed countries and particularly in Africa.

Sustained, inclusive and equitable economic growth in developing countries is identified as a key requirement for eradicating poverty and hunger and achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

Therefore, Future We Want highlights the importance to complement national efforts of developing countries by an enabling environment aimed at expanding the development opportunities of developing countries.

In paragraph 107, Member States recognize the important contribution that promoting universal access to social services can make to consolidating and achieving development gains.

Social protection systems that address and reduce inequality and social exclusion are essential for eradicating poverty and advancing the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. More
The General Assembly declared the Second UN Decade for the Eradication of Poverty (2008-2017) in December 2007 and selected as theme �Full Employment and Decent Work for All�.

This Second Decade was proclaimed to support the internationally agreed development goals related to poverty eradication, including the Millennium Development Goals. It has stressed the importance of reinforcing the positive trends in poverty reduction, experienced by some countries as well as the need of extending such trends to benefit people worldwide.

This Second Decade recognizes as well the importance of mobilizing financial resources for development at national and international levels and acknowledges that sustained economic growth, supported by rising productivity and a favourable environment, including private investment and entrepreneurship is vital for rising living standards More
Chapter 2 identifies eradication of poverty as the greatest global challenge facing the world today and as an
indispensable requirement for sustainable development, particularly for developing countries. JPOI recognizes the primary responsibility and role national governments and policies have for ensuring their own sustainable development and poverty eradication strategies.

The JPOI at the same time highlights the importance of concerted and concrete measures at all levels to enable developing countries to achieve their sustainable development goals as related to the internationally agreed poverty-related targets and goals, including those contained in Agenda 21, the relevant outcomes of other United Nations conferences and the United Nations Millennium Declaration. More
As recommended by the World Summit for Social Development, the General Assembly convened a special session in 2000 to revise and assess the implementation of the outcome of the Social Summit and to identify new and further initiatives for social development.

The GA held its twenty-fourth special session, entitled �World Summit for Social Development and beyond: achieving social development for all in a globalizing world�, in Geneva from 26 to 30 June 2000.

Agreement was reached on a wide array of initiatives to reduce poverty and spur job growth in the global economy.

Reducing poverty, promoting job growth, and ensuring the participation of all people in the decision-making process were the main objectives of the agreement.

To achieve these goals, countries endorsed actions to ensure improved education and health, including in times of financial crisis.

The General Assembly adopted an outcome document entitled �Further initiatives for social development� consisting of a political declaration reaffirming the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development; a review and assessment of the implementation of the outcome of the Summit; and proposals for further initiatives for social development. More
MDG 1 aims at eradicating extreme poverty and hunger.

Its three targets respectively read:

halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people whose income is less than $1.25 a day (1.A),

achieve full and productive employment and decent work for all, including women and young people (1.B),

halve, between 1990 and 2015, the proportion of people who suffer from hunger (1.C). More
The First United Nations Decade for Eradication of Poverty was declared for the period 1997-2006 by the UN General Assembly at the end of 1995.

As theme for the Decade, the GA established at the end of 1996 the following: "Eradicating poverty is an ethical, social, political and economic imperative of humankind." More
A GA Special Session (UNGASS-19) was held in June 1997 in order to review and assess progress undergone on Agenda 21. With Resolution A/RES/S-19/2 delegates agreed on the adoption of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21.

The Programme appraised progress since the UNCED, examined implementation and defined the CSD�s work programme for the period 1998-2002.

For the CSD�s subsequent four sessions, poverty and consumption and production patterns were identified as dominant issues for each year by the work programme.

Delegates also agreed on the sectoral, cross-sectoral and economic sector/major group themes, endorsed the IPF�s outcome and recommended a continuation of the intergovernmental policy dialogue on forests.

Subsequently, the Intergovernmental Forum on Forest (IFF) was established by ECOSOC under the CSD. More
The Copenhagen Declaration was adopted at the end of the World Summit for Social Development (WSSD), held in March 1995 in Copenhagen.

Being the largest gathering of world leaders at that time, this event represented a crucial milestone and pledged to make the conquest of poverty, the goal of full employment and the fostering of stable, safe and just societies overriding objectives of development.

Chapter 2 is entirely devoted to eradication of poverty with a particular attention to the strategies to be adopted to achieve concrete results in this matter, to improve access to productive resources and infrastructure, meet the basic human needs of all and to enhance social protection and reduce vulnerability. More
Chapter 3 of the Agenda describes poverty as "a complex multidimensional problem with origins in both the national and international domains".

The Agenda notes that no uniform solution can be found for global application and identifies country-specific programmes to tackle poverty and international efforts supporting national efforts, as well as the parallel process of creating a supportive international environment as crucial tools for a solution to this problem. More
Eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development resolves to free the human race from the tyranny of poverty and to heal and secure our planet. The first Sustainable Development Goal aims to �End poverty in all its forms everywhere�. Its seven associated targets aims, among others, to eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty, and implement nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all, including floors, and by 2030 achieve substantial coverage of the poor and the vulnerable As recalled by the foreword of the 2015 Millennium Development Goals Report, at the Millennium Summit in September 2000, 189 countries unanimously adopted the Millennium Declaration, pledging to �spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanizing conditions of extreme poverty�. This commitment was translated into an inspiring framework of eight goals and, then, into wide-ranging practical steps that have enabled people across the world to improve their lives and their future prospects. The MDGs helped to lift more than one billion people out of extreme poverty, to make inroads against hunger, to enable more girls to attend school than ever before and to protect our planet. Nevertheless, in spite of all the remarkable gains, inequalities have persisted and progress has been uneven. Therefore, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its set of Sustainable Development Goals have been committed, as stated in the Declaration of the Agenda, �to build upon the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals and seek to address their unfinished business�. From Agenda 21 to Future We Want In "The Future We Want", the outcome document of Rio+20, Member States emphasized the need to accord the highest priority to poverty eradication within the United Nations development agenda, addressing the root causes and challenges of poverty through integrated, coordinated and coherent strategies at all level. In the context of the multi-year programme of work adopted by the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) after the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), poverty eradication appears as an "overriding issue" on the agenda of the CSD each year. Poverty eradication is addressed in Chapter II of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (2002), which stressed that eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development, particularly for developing countries. Priority actions on poverty eradication include:
  • improving access to sustainable livelihoods, entrepreneurial opportunities and productive resources;
  • providing universal access to basic social services;
  • progressively developing social protection systems to support those who cannot support themselves;
  • empowering people living in poverty and their organizations;
  • addressing the disproportionate impact of poverty on women;
  • working with interested donors and recipients to allocate increased shares of ODA to poverty eradication; and
  • intensifying international cooperation for poverty eradication.
The General Assembly, in its 1997 Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (paragraph 27) decided that poverty eradication should be an overriding theme of sustainable development for the coming years. It is one of the fundamental goals of the international community and of the entire United Nations system. "Combating poverty" is the topic of Chapter 3 of Agenda 21. It is also in commitment 2 of the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development. Agenda 21 emphasized that poverty is a complex multidimensional problem with origins in both the national and international domains. No uniform solution can be found for global application. Rather, country-specific programmes to tackle poverty and international efforts supporting national efforts, as well as the parallel process of creating a supportive international environment, are crucial for a solution to this problem. The years following the 1992 Rio Conference have witnessed an increase in the number of people living in absolute poverty, particularly in developing countries. The enormity and complexity of the poverty issue could endanger the social fabric, undermine economic development and the environment, and threaten political stability in many countries.
Division for Sustainable Development, UN-DESA

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