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Ending Global Poverty Over the Next 13 Years Means Boosting Resilience Now

Jessica Faieta - IPSNews
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October 17, 2017

Ending Poverty. Forever. (United Nations Development Programme)

This month the world marks two key International Days: for the Eradication of Poverty on 17 October and for Disaster Reduction, four days earlier. It is no coincidence that they are profoundly connected.

Reducing risks related to disasters has never been so urgent - and the Latin America and the Caribbean region bears witness to this. Seven hurricanes have hit the Caribbean in the past five months, two of them as category 5, causing catastrophic damage, including in island nations that were barely recovering from another massive hurricane that struck one year ago.

Also, two earthquakes rocked Mexico in September - with almost 5,000 aftershocks - while another powerful quake struck Ecuador in April 2016. In addition, both Colombia and Peru suffered major landslides in the past eight months.

The number of children, women and men killed is deeply saddening, especially in an era in which we have the knowledge to minimize loss of lives due to natural events. Yet, we keep experiencing tragedies.

The fact is that natural disasters do not exist. Such phenomena become disasters when people, communities and societies are vulnerable to them. This, in turn, translates into losses - of lives and assets. And the poorest are the hardest hit.

On the one hand, poverty reduces people’s capacity to face and recover from disasters; on the other hand, disasters also hinder people’s ability to leave poverty behind.

That’s why if the world is to end poverty in all its forms by 2030 we must also boost resilience - in all its forms. This means the capacity to cope with shocks without major economic, social and environmental setbacks.

... If the world has vowed to eradicate poverty by 2030 we need to invest in boosting communities’, countries’ and entire regions’ resilience in the social, economic and environmental fronts. Reducing vulnerabilities - in its multiple aspects - is a crucial path to leave no one behind.

Jessica Faieta is UN Assistant Secretary General & UNDP Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean

Read the rest at IPSNews

Related: 'Bugs' Documentary Explores Insect-Eating as a Cure for World Hunger (The Los Angeles Times)

IPS is an international communication institution with a global news agency at its core, raising the voices of the South and civil society on issues of development, globalisation, human rights and the environment. Check out the website at

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