Combating extreme poverty | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, October 27, 2011 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, October 27, 2011


Combating extreme poverty

Off to a robust start

Over fifty development organisations marked the Extreme Poverty Day on Tuesday amid recitals of success stories in eradicating poverty from amongst the extreme poor.
The theme of the discussion meet to mark the day was : "Eradicate Extreme Poverty: Whose responsibility Is It?" It was organised by Shiree in partnership with UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Bangladesh government and BRAC.
A look at the success stories revealed that in one instance in Gaibandha 60 percent of the beneficiaries are in the process of moving out of extreme poverty. Manny of them were cobblers and share-croppers. But now they are producing strawberries and other fruits and vegetables. Another NGO has trained 1,000 extreme poor in float gardening and crab fattening in Jessore and Satkhira including farming vegetables in Barguna. The beneficiaries have adequate capital now to run on their own and they know their markets.
Another project has to do with the physically challenged in their thirties. 700 people with disabilities have thus been able to groom themselves up for jobs in garment industries and help themselves start small businesses. In another big enterprise 12,000 beneficiaries in Satkhira and Khulna are using on government-owned lands, each having Taka 14,000 as asset.
Along with seed money, they need training to take to a vocation. They must also be helped to have access to the market. We may as well explore export potential for some of their products.
Those monitoring the projects assert that 80,000 households and three lac people are feeling the impact of the programmes.
It is important to note that about 17.3 percent of the country's population is extremely poor. This works out to 25 million in absolute numbers being extremely poor.
While acknowledging the good work being done by the NGOs in terms of innovating poverty alleviation methods and achieving success in targeted areas, there is hardly any room for complacency. This is actually the note on which the practical action platform ended its meet.

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