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Beyond 2015: Growth will not be enough!




Yes it´s true. The overall consensus in international community endorsing the MDG in 2000 has contributed to a staggering progress in poverty reduction never witnessed before in human history. Half a billion people have now been dragged out of the orbit of poverty, child mortality has been reduced by 30% and Malaria has reduced their victims by one quarter.

Approaching the 2015 deadline the international community has dedicated all its efforts in recent months to understand what has shifted and what are the prospects for the future. This past-future reconciliation process transformed into a cloud of crowd formed by a gigantic multidonor mist. What is possible to disentagle from this intricate and difuse debate? To start asking this question it is necessary to first understand what is the contribution of MDG agenda to these changes? Albeit the undoubtable merit of MDGs agenda it was absent on the recommended path out of poverty  setting instead  simplistic headcount measures as poverty targets. By doing so unintentionally advocated that fast growth would drag out of poverty an easy to reach population near the poverty line, leaving the extreme poor behind. The beyond 2015 agenda has addressed this by setting the universal priority: the erradication of extreme poverty leaving no one behind. But whitout a defined path can we rely on the omnipresent effect of growth? No, growth is not a panacea. As much honorable and thrilling eliminating poverty may be it faces several challenges. First growth may not be strong enough to reduce poverty. Second, although growth may promote individuals out of poverty close to the poverty line, it may not be sufficient to benefit the ones lagging far behind below the poverty line. Third, after the big push of growth based poverty reduction future policy may have diminishing returns. Forth, additional poverty reduction will only be possible assuring distribution policies to the bottom of the income distribution, i.e. the poorest. Fifth, in most cases to reduce poverty  it is more meaningful to address specific issues such as security and climate change in an integrated fashion with poverty analysis than to burst growth.


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