Elevating B40 Households Key To Ending Poverty

Nov 8, 2016

UNDP colleagues reading out narratives from selected participants from B40 project to showcase the issues faced by them

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and World Bank in Malaysia jointly organized the “End Poverty Campaign Panel Discussion”.

The half-day event was held in conjunction with the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) and the panel sessions focused on good practices on poverty alleviation and economic empowerment. Johan Merican, Deputy Director General (Human Capital), Economic Planning Unit (EPU) opened the event.

This year, the global theme for IDEP is “Moving from Humiliation and Exclusion to Participation: Ending Poverty in All its Forms”. Furthermore, in October, the World Bank launched the Poverty and Shared Prosperity Report 2016 titled “Taking on Inequality”.  With both themes in mind, this event seeks to build networks and linkages among international organizations, local practitioners, thought leaders and experts on poverty alleviation towards the common goal of eradicating poverty and ensuring shared prosperity.

Mr Jakob Simonsen, UN Acting Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative ad interim for Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei Darussalam said in his closing speech, “This event represents a milestone for both UNDP and World Bank as it represents the maiden joint event between the two agencies here in Malaysia and signals both agency’s strong support to the development agenda of Malaysia which is led by the Economic Planning Unit.”

IDEP, commemorated since 1987 on October 17 annually as the World Day for Overcoming Extreme Poverty and recognized by the United Nations in 1992 by resolution 47/196, has been observed every year since 1993 to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.

More than 100 people representing various private and government-linked organisations, academic institutions as well as NGOs attended the half-day event. The day’s event began with the sharing of findings from the World Bank Group’s Poverty and Shared Prosperity 2016 Report: Taking on Inequality by the World Bank’s Dr Kenneth Simler, Senior Economist, Poverty and Equity Global Practice and Dr Michael Woolcock, Lead Social Development Specialist, Development Research Group.

Christopher Choong, Economist, Socio-Economic Development Cluster, UNDP Malaysia, followed with a presentation and further elaborated how this year’s theme for IDEP 2016 is most suitable because it emphasizes on participation of the poor and excluded as a means to end multidimensional poverty, and UNDP Malaysia, in partnership with the Economic Planning Unit, is exploring innovative ways to create spaces of inclusion for the poor and excluded to participate meaningfully in determining the very policies that affect their lives.

UNDP also presented narratives from selected participants from the recently concluded B40 National Consultation project which showcases struggles the people face daily and pinpoints the systemic challenges from the disenfranchised.

The two panels gave the audience two perspectives of poverty eradication which were first, Engaging those in need: Perspectives on the ground with panelists Munirah Abdul Hamid, Founder, PERTIWI Soup Kitchen, Professor Dr Sulochana Nair, Board Member, Yayasan Sejahtera, Colin Nicholas, Founder and Coordinator, Center for Orang Asli Concerns and Deborah Henry, Co-Founder, Fugee School & World Vision’s Child Rights Advocate. Secondly, Implementing Policies to Reduce Poverty and Inequality by Muhammad Idris, Director, Distribution Sector, Economic Planning Unit and Dr Amjad Rabi, Deputy Representative and Senior Social Policy Specialist, UNICEF.

The panelists spoke and interacted on issues such as delivery and access to aid, education, documentation and health surrounding key communities such as B40 groups, refugees and Orang Asli.

Jakob concluded, “It is the duty of all Governments and societies to address systemic socio-economic inequalities and facilitate the engagement of all people living in extreme poverty. However, providing delivery platforms to address these issues for the people would not mean anything if they are not rooted in realities on the ground and based on consultations with them”.

Contact information

Ahmad Hafiz Osman, Communications Analyst, UNDP in Malaysia, ahmad.hafiz@undp.org – Mobile: 0123021234

Ching Thut CHAN, Communications Consultant, World Bank Global Knowledge and Research Hub in Malaysia, cchan3@worldbank.org - Mobile: 012 915 5933