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News Link • United Nations

Why Won't the UN Tell Us What Really Reduces Poverty?

• https://fee.org, by Chelsea Follett

Earlier this month, the United Nations urged the world to celebrate the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, advertising it on social media using the hashtag #EndPoverty. The UN noted the incredible progress on the issue:

Poverty has declined globally, from 1.7 billion people in 1999 to 767 million in 2013, a drop in the global poverty rate from 28 percent in 1999 to 11 percent in 2013. The most significant progress was seen in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia, where the rate declined from 35 percent in 1999 to 3 percent in 2013.

Unfortunately, the UN seems to misunderstand the source of that progress. It argues that government action and top-down technocrat-led programs are to thank for poverty's remarkable decline. The UN statement continues:

Countries have taken action to end poverty… The Government of Tanzania, for example, started a massive overhaul of its current national programme, the Tanzania Productive Social Safety Nets, to reach people living below the food poverty line.

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