Panel Discussion on Poverty Eradication

Disconnect between Reality of Poverty — Actions of Governments Explored,  as Panellists, Delegates Alike Call for Alternative Poverty-Eradication Paradigm

This is a head line from the Department of Public Information on the panel discussion at the Commission for Social Development on Thursday February 10, 2011  Read more

One of the panelists was Jimi O. Adesina, PhD, Professor of Sociology, Director, Transformative Social Policy Programme University of the Western Cape, South Africa.  You can read his notes here   “In my small town, the equivalent of R270 per month (which would take everyone above the US$1.25/day benchmark and suggest that we have met MDG1(a)) may eliminate hunger but the person will have to be naked, homeless, and die of hypothermia by mid-July, when our winter is most severe. I am assuming that eating a loaf of bread and three cups of water eliminates hunger, but hardly malnutrition. And if you are of a „Malthusian‟, cold conservative bent, you can argue that by August poverty level would have fallen in my small town—death by hypothermia. I have used this case to illustrate a simple point: even for a measure of destitution living below that condition must be grim, indeed. …  I would suggest that a broader vision of human existence requires that we pay attention to the “Precarious Non-Poor”, in other words, those above the poverty line but are so close to it that any shock pushes them into poverty, swelling the ranks of the poor. Not paying attention to this category creates an illusion of prosperity or achievement of poverty reduction targets. The proportion of a society lives within this band is extremely important in human and policy terms. The severity of the deleterious impact of structural adjustment policy programmes in most African countries is, in part, because a significant proportion of our population were in this category: the Precarious Non-Poor.”   



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