End wars to wipe out poverty

Much of Africa continues to suffer from famine and starvation as wars rage in the region.

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Published: Wed 23 Sep 2015, 12:00 AM

Last updated: Wed 23 Sep 2015, 10:07 AM

The United Nations' aim to rid poverty by 2030 is a noble goal, but it is too broadbased and does not throw light on specifics. Moreoever, it has been clubbed with 16 other goals that leaders from 193 countries are expected to adopt on Friday. Beating extreme poverty and hunger was possible in the last two decades because of a rising China and the resurgence of a global middle class. Wiping out poverty in the next 15 years will be even more challenging with the increase in numbers of displaced people fleeing conflicts like those in Syria.
Much of Africa continues to suffer from famine and starvation as wars rage in the region. The Middle East continues to be unstable and the US estimates that it will take another 20 years to oust terrorist groups like Daesh and its affiliates. So how does the UN hope to eradicate poverty in 15 years without reining in the violence that threatens to envelope us?
The 17 goals are expected to cost the world $ 5 billion and it is not known what portion of the funds will be allocated to stamp out poverty. Is there be a common strategy that countries will adopt with help from the UN, or will they implement individual poverty-alleviation schemes under the world body's supervision? As they say, the devil is in the details and the details have not been forthcoming so far.
Rich countries in Europe, for their part, are having economic problems of their own, stemming from a rise in refugee numbers to their shores. The continent has been flooded with people driven out by conflict in Africa and the Middle East. Some countries like Germany can sustain them, but for how long? Eradicating poverty is possible if wars cease or conflicts are brought under control. Only then will development take place and investments pour in to boost economies. People will go on to find work to feed themselves and lead a life of dignity. For sustainable development, the UN must first give peace a chance.

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