Message from Judith Karl, UNCDF Executive Secretary, on the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty 2015

  • October 17, 2015

  • New York, USA

This year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty comes on the heels of the adoption of the Agenda 2030, which underscores that that eradicating poverty in all its forms and dimensions, including extreme poverty, is the greatest global challenge and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development.

Achieving this Goal is possible, but there are many challenges on the path to getting there. The gap between the poorest and the wealthiest is wide and growing within many countries, and between countries too. Genderinequality continues to drive poverty in all corners of the world.

We can take steps to reduce inequalities. Economic growth, on its own, is important, but not sufficient. We need to make growth more inclusive and transformative, so that it improves the lives and livelihoods of poor people and communities; retains value within local economies, avoiding patterns of high growth and low poverty reduction; and empowers local authorities to build a brighter future.

This is especially true in the case of Least Developed Countries, where millions of people live in extreme poverty and vulnerability.

The theme of this year’s International Day for the Eradication of Poverty is "Building a sustainable future: Coming together to end poverty and discrimination".

It reminds us that the eradication of poverty by 2030 requires partnerships, policies and financial models that make growth more broad-based and sustainable. It requires prioritizing investments in education, health, clean water, and infrastructure that benefit the poorest. It also requires helping men and women protect their hard-won gains and assets and to avoid falling right back into poverty after a shock which can wipe out savings or cause families to incur unmanageable debt.

UNCDF’s last mile financing models help eradicate poverty, mobilizing resources which benefit poor people and under-served regions and small businesses. These models focus on those areas where available resources for development are scarcest; where market failures are most pronounced; and where benefits from national growth tend to leave people excluded.

Those models demonstrate how strong public/private partnerships can unlock resources at the local level, with public resources – including ODA – laying the groundwork for private investment. UNCDF does this in two ways. First, by showing how localized public finance- through fiscal decentralization, innovations in municipal finance, and structured project finance - can drive public/private funding for essential infrastructure and serviceswhichunderpinslocal economic expansion. Second,we supportsavings- led financial inclusion which expands the opportunities for poor individuals and households and small businesses to participate in the local economy, providing them with the tools they need to better manage their financial lives, plan for the future, and climb out of poverty.

On this International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, UNCDF recommits to using its capital mandate to build a sustainable future and end poverty and discrimination.