Thursday, August 05, 2010

No easy escape from poverty

People are still stuck in poverty despite the intervention of multilateral organisations.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) were initiated in 1999 by the International Monetary Fund and World Bank for the eradication of poverty in Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. However, research shows that PRSPs are failing to deliver. Millions of dollars have been spent on development programmes that are having no real impact on the ground. Research suggests little or no political will to take forward policies that benefit the poor and marginalized. At the same time, the process has suffered from corruption and misuse of funds, with little accountability to the populations of recipient countries. More than 10 years on, PRSPs have thus failed to move communities out of poverty and, crucially, have largely ignored the plight of minorities and indigenous peoples, who are usually among the most marginalized and poor. The report gave two specific examples.

The Endorois of Kenya , who have been removed from their ancestral lands by successive governments, remain impoverished, with elevated levels of illiteracy, high HIV prevalence, poor health, and high maternal and child mortality rates.
The Karamoja of Uganda, the study found that they still lack basic social services and have endured marginalisation from the political, social and economic mainstream of Uganda despite a long-standing poverty reduction plan in the country.

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