05/02/2022 - UK News: Two Expert Witnesses Report on the The UK International Development Committee's Commitment to Eradicate Extreme Poverty by 2030

The UK International Development Committee, has called upon two expert witnesses to report on the development work of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) and its impact on targets to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030. The targets are part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 1, Target 1.1 which sees extreme poverty as those earning less than $1.90 per day.

The inquiry team will delve into the FCDO’s policies, strategies and programmes targeting 'extreme poverty' and make recommendations on how they might need to be changed plus part of the remit is to follow up on the previous planned work by the Committee and its predecessor in the previous parliamentary session, the pandemic and its further impact and probe the work the Committee is doing to ensure that the UK government’s foreign aid expenditure achieves good value for money.

The evidence session will focus on the types of interventions that have the most impact on breaking the extreme poverty traps.

The first panel will consider food security and the impact of poor access to healthcare; delving into which policies have shown positive results.

The second panel will probe social protection systems and cash transfers. Issues will include how and when such interventions may be most effective in providing immediate relief. The experts may also be asked whether social safety nets and cash transfers can help the impoverished lift themselves permanently out of extreme poverty, and how these compare to other interventions.

Expert Witnesses include Dr. Githinji Gitahi who has been the Global CEO of Amref Health Africa (Amref). Dr. Gitahi is also the Steering Committee Co-Chair of UHC2030—a World Bank and World Health Organization global initiative for universal health coverage. Dr. Gitahi is interested in the key drivers of lasting health change and believes in the focus on universal health coverage (UHC) as the roadmap to achieving good health for all people. He says: “UHC is key. It reflects the challenges we face in affordability, accountability, accessibility and integration of services, leadership, governance and management.”

Bessie Ndovi is the national co-ordinator for the Civil Society Organisation Nutrition Alliance, abbreviated as CSONA. I am based in Malawi, in Africa. The work programme we do centres on nutrition advocacy: generating accountability for nutrition and making sure that nutrition is prioritised in Government agendas and various strategic documents and policies, as well as budgets; creating general awareness around nutrition in the local masses; and building the capacity of various stakeholders to do with nutrition advocacy, so that nutrition can be placed at the centre of development priorities in the country.

Bessie was asked by Kate Osamor: I would like to direct my first question to Bessie Ndovi.
What impact are you seeing on food security in low-income countries as a result of the war in Ukraine?

Bessie Ndovi: Thank you very much for the question. The war in Ukraine has created some problems not only for us in Malawi but for the rest of Africa and the rest of the world. The first thing that we have seen is an increase in commodities, especially fuel and some gases. This has come about because Ukraine and Russia are the largest producers and exporters of commodities. Now that there are sanctions happening in Russia, and Ukraine is not in a position to export these things, the commodities are being ourced from Asian countries and the Middle East. This has created a scramble for these resources, so commodities have become very expensive.

Please read the full transcript of the commons meeting in the below link.