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Development Co-operation Report 2013

Ending Poverty

image of Development Co-operation Report 2013

The Development Co-operation Report (DCR) 2013 explores what needs to be done to achieve rapid and sustainable progress in the global fight to reduce poverty. The world is on track to achieve the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) target of halving the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1.25 a day. Nonetheless, we are far from achieving the overarching MDG goal of eradicating extreme poverty. While we have learned much about what works in terms of reducing poverty, “getting to zero” remains a challenge in the face of the intractable difficulties of reaching those mired in extreme poverty.

The report  focuses on the very poor and will set out, in concrete terms:

• The nature and dimensions of poverty today

• What development co-operation – and the global partnerships it supports – can do in the fight against poverty

The DCR 2013 will focus on the positive experiences of countries, highlighting policies and approaches that have worked.

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What are the politics of poverty?

Brazil has experienced a quiet revolution in recent years. Between 2001 and 2011, GDP per capita increased by 29% and the poorest 20% of people saw their income grow seven times as fast as the top 20%. Brazil also reduced by half the number of people living in poverty – in half the time expected. In this chapter, the man at the helm of this remarkable transformation – Luis Ignacio Lula da Silva – explains how this was enabled by a democratic decision to put social policy at the heart of the country’s development strategy. The flagship Bolsa Família (Family Stipend) programme transferred cash to low-income households in exchange for enrolling children in school and ensuring regular medical check-ups and vaccinations (conditional cash transfers). The programme has benefitted an entire generation by helping to break the vicious circle of poverty. The country is now focusing on the last bastion of poverty – the extreme poor – through the strategy called Brazil Without Extreme Poverty Plan. Brazil’s move to reshape its development shows how aligning social and economic policies, transferring cash to poor families (97% to women) and offering public services to those who most need them can have multiple benefits, but that courage and determination are required in choosing such a path.

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