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People and the River

 



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Poverty Reduction  

There are different ways to look at poverty: defined economically, poverty is a lack of material goods, resources and wealth. Defined socially, poverty is related to social exclusion. And finally, poverty of access and power relates to a lack of access to basic infrastructure and information (Adongo and Deen-Swarray 2006).

The lack of access to roads, transport and markets are often seen as an indicator of poverty.
Source: Tump 2005
( click to enlarge )

The Copenhagen Declaration defines absolute poverty as “a condition characterised by severe deprivation of basic needs, including food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education and information”. Extremes in income distribution and low per-capita incomes can exacerbate absolute poverty.

Rural-urban migration has exacerbated both urban and rural poverty. This suggests the importance of poverty reduction strategies in urban as well as rural areas. Furthermore, there is an ample perception that the “trickle down” approach to poverty reduction through economic growth has not worked. Therefore, there is a need for economic growth in such a way that there are greater opportunities for the poor to participate in gainful economic activity through activities such as small enterprise development, etc.

Poverty reduction strategies for southern African, by theme and country, can be found on the Southern African Regional Poverty Network (SARPN) website.

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs)

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) describe a country’s macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs to promote growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs. PRSPs are prepared by governments through a participatory process that involves civil society and development partners, often including the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers provide the basis for World Bank and IMF assistance as well as debt relief under the HIPC (Heavily Indebted Poor Countries) Initiative. They are key instruments in the relationship between donor agencies and recipient countries. PRSPs are also used for monitoring progress towards the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) (IMF website 2010, World Bank website 2010g).

However, developing countries are not obliged to participate in this scheme. They are free to develop their own national development plans for poverty reduction.

Please click on Angola and Namibia to learn more about the poverty reduction strategies in the Kunene basin countries.

 

 



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