Exposing the great ‘poverty reduction’ lie

Hi guys

I found the following article from al Jazeera quite interesting, given recent debates on the impact of Aid organisations in developing countries.

in the article by Stefan Schirm, entitled ‘Ideas and interests in global financial governance: comparing German and US preference formation’, the author explores the domestic factors that influence the policy preferences of States on the international level, and in particular the different positions of the US and Germany with regard to the IMF quota reforms. what I found interesting, however is the idea that there is significant resistance from certain powerful States to expanding the mandate of the IMF to deal with broader issues of development such as Poverty Reduction.

The IMF, however is after all an International Financial Institution (IFI) and should therefore not be held responsible for development deficits outside the purview of its area of expertise.

During our class, there was debate regarding examples of initiatives by International Organisations that have transcended the traditional money-centered approaches of traditional IFI’s i.e. the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s)

 in the featured article, Jason Hickel dispels the notion that poverty will disappear as a reality of international life any time. According to Hickel the dominant narrative that the target to reduce global poverty by half by 2015 has been one of the resounding successes of the MDGs is not correct. in an interesting demonstration of the IPE of statistics, policymakers effectively reduced the original target of 836 million to only 345 million. furthermore by adopting the higher International Poverty Line (IPL) of $1.25 a day, instead of the original $1 a day, the World Bank was able to argue that market reforms implemented in developing countries had effectively reversed a 200 year trend of increasing poverty.

I found the article interesting, since it raises the question as to the sincerity of  global initiatives such as the MDG’s to address the real impact of globalisation over the last few decades, and the real extent of global poverty and inequality. this seems to suggest to the global development discourse remains fundamentally oriented towards a money-centered and economic development approach to development, rather than a people-centered and human development approach. behind the rhetoric of global poverty reduction lies hidden the rue face of globalisation today, widening poverty and inequality gaps.  



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