The target of Agenda 2030 is to eradicate extreme poverty. Even though global extreme poverty is on the decline, recent statistics show that the rate of decline has slowed. South-South cooperation can play a significant role in getting us back on track.
As the world celebrates the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October, we would like to take the opportunity to reflect on a handful of initiatives that illustrate the important role of South-South cooperation in facilitating achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 1, Eradication of Poverty.
The examples we have outlined can be explored in depth via the new South-South Galaxyglobal knowledge sharing and partnership-brokering platform, which connects and links various existing South-South knowledge platforms developed by UN agencies and development partners. Galaxy is home to a broad range of knowledge, solutions and research on South-South cooperation toward achievement of the SDGs. Some examples follow.
In Bangladesh, an online service platformhas been developed to ease the time-consuming and labour-intensive provision of public services by government offices at the district and sub-district levels. A typical digital centre is about 4 km from the average rural citizen’s home, compared to a government sub-district office, which is about 20 km away, and a district office, over 35 km away. The new digital service platform currently provides over 136 public and private services, agent banking services and assisted rural model e-commerce support through to rural citizens.
The Government of Chile launched the Chile Fund Against Hunger and Povertyto finance initiatives targeting the eradication of hunger in lower- and middle-income countries through passenger contributions on international flights, with $2 of the airport tax paid by every passenger.
The India-UN Development Partnership Fund, established by India in June 2017, and managed by UNOSSC, has already enabled 44 development projects in 44 countries toward poverty alleviation across all 17 crosscutting SDGs. For example, in Eswatini, the Fund is supporting UNDP work on a Participatory Poverty Assessment (PPA), a national study undertaken through participatory approaches that engage underprivileged people in the process of identifying the root causes of poverty and formulating and implementing policy for poverty alleviation.
The 2019 report on the progress on the Sustainable Development Goals stated that strong social protection systems are one of the key services that often help people escape poverty. To advance these systems, theCommunity of Practice on Cash Transfers in Africainitiative was created. It has helped 35 countries in sharing their experiences on money transfers amongst social protection practitioners. One of the initiative’s key aims is to provide stakeholders with opportunities for dialogue and exchange of experience and lessons learned on the design and implementation of social protection systems, including on cash transfers. This project was facilitated by UNICEF and the World Bank in partnership with the International Policy Centre for Inclusive Growth (IPC-IG).
East and Southern Africa are vulnerable to climate change, food insecurity and water scarcity, largely due to drought and high temperatures. To effectively address this, the Asia Youth Volunteer Exchange Programme (AYVEP)was developed to provide a mechanism for the exchange of knowledge, skills and capacity-building among countries of the Global South, particularly African and Asian countries, in the fields of sustainable agriculture and private sector development.
UNOSSC’s Youth4Southinitiative facilitates capacity development for youth from developing countries to learn and adapt South-South and triangular cooperation knowledge and tools for scaling up sustainable poverty eradication tools in their home countries and local communities.
In Algeria, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Morocco, Sudan, Tunisia, Turkey and Uzbekistan, the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the Islamic Development Bank and UNOSSC are working together to address the challenge of rising food insecurity and rural poverty, and the growing demand for water resource management. They are working to transfer innovative solutions in water preservation technologies; to create more favourable policy and institutional spaces to scale up successful solutions in agricultural production; and to facilitate South-South knowledge exchange and online access to relevant home-grown expertise.
The India, Brazil and South Africa Facility for Poverty and Hunger Alleviation, the IBSA Fund, has been working with Guinea-Bissau to reduce food insecurityby helping farmers to improve agricultural techniques for rice cultivation and to diversify their crops. Since 2018 the IBSA Fund approved more than 5 new projects, among them is a project in Greneda which will support the development of a national health insurance programme that aims to provide universally accessible and affordable health-care services.
A group of African countries came together in 2011 to create the ‘Industrialization and Job Creation for Africa Initiative’ to respond to the paradox in Africa of having some of the fastest-growing economies but also low employment rates and poverty. The Initiative seized the opportunity for industrialization arising from the relocation of light manufacturing from China and other emerging market economies. In doing so, Africa got closer to realizing its potential for sustainable industrialization, shared prosperity and job growth.
South-South Galaxy – www.unsouthsouth.org/south-south-galaxy