Topic: Eradication of Poverty
Country: Federal Republic of Germany
Committee: UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME (UNDP)
The eradication of poverty has long been a goal of the United Nations, as it not only was a goal in the Millenium Development Goals (MDG), but was also a part of the Sustainable Development Goals of 2030 (SDG). According to the United Nations, the international community has been successful in fighting poverty, evident by global poverty rates dropping by more than half since 2000. However, based on current projections, the Brookings Institute finds the world will not end poverty by 2030. Poverty will likely be lowered by about 200 million people, but 438 million people, or 5 percent of the world’s population, will still live in extreme poverty. The current reason why poverty still exists is structural issues. These issues include the lack of resources for services, ranging from education to infrastructure. Other issues that lead to poverty include ineffective aid policies and the lack of proper legal policies to incentivize economic growth. The most important issue that the UNDP needs to look at is income inequality because it leads to dependent aid, according to the Borgen Project, which prevents the ending of poverty. Poverty therefore then becomes cyclical.
Despite being a well-developed nation, poverty has been an issue that has recently plagued Germany. According to a recent European Union study, three-quarters of EU citizens perceive growth in poverty in their home countries. Even in right now Germany, 57 percent surveyed said they felt poverty was increasing around them. Germany has attempted to combat this issue with a radical labor market reform. Unemployment benefits were reduced and temp agencies were given free rein. The key ideas were liberalization and flexibility. As a result, unemployment rates dropped. Internationally, Germany has been a nation that worked to end poverty. According to the International Trade Forum, Germany has been committed to funding poverty reduction programs. Germany’s contribution is part of the UN Millennium Declaration’s goal to reduce “the proportion of people living in extreme poverty by one half by the year 2015.” The German Government states it aims “to develop entrepreneurial capacity [of the poor] and to improve their access to productive resources… and to markets.”
In order to solve poverty, the Delegation of Germany believes that there must be a focus on a range of policies from infrastructure development and investment to proper education to prepare for the job market, and the right legal policies to incentivize economic growth. Infrastructure is the key to solving poverty, as Athenosy 17 reports investments in modern and well-functioning infrastructure are regarded as the foundations for sustainable development and growth. Lu from Rand Europe finds poverty is decreased from infrastructure, for a one percent improvement in accessibility leads to about a 0.3–0.4 percent increase in the number of businesses and employment. Education is also important, as The World Economic Forum states that thousands of NGOs throughout the world aim to reduce poverty’s effects by educating young people for the jobs of the future, retraining adults whose skills aren’t suited to today’s job market, and providing skills to young people that will generate economic growth. A well-educated society ensures sustainable development, which in turn decreases poverty effectively. Finally, it is important to improve current measurements of data regarding poverty so the international community has a better idea of the issues at hand regarding how many people are in poverty and what resources are needed. There also needs to be better systems for not just collecting, but analyzing said data for poverty. Poverty is best solved using solutions that are tailored to helping countries’ specific needs. A one size fits all strategy is simply not pragmatic.
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- Richard Li