INTERNATIONAL DAY FOR ERADICATION OF POVERTY (IDEP) 2019 FORUM
The International Day for Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) 2019 Forum is held in conjunction with Yayasan Sejahtera's (YS) 10 Years Anniversary. The theme of the forum is “Inclusive Development and Sejahtera in the New Malaysia”. The theme of the forum is relevant for all Malaysians including, policy makers, NGOs and civil society actors, academia as well as B40 communities.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identifies poverty eradication as its first goal and the targets under this goal are to eradicate extreme poverty for all people everywhere, currently measured as people living on less than $1.25 a day and reduce at least by half the proportion of men, women and children of all ages living in poverty in all its dimensions according to national definition by 2030. Other related targets are to ensure that the poor and vulnerable groups have access to social protection and economic resources.
Eradicating poverty and rebalancing social inequality is multi-faceted and requires the actions and interventions from many stakeholders. While extreme poverty has been addressed, relative poverty both in urban and rural context remains a challenge in Malaysia and many countries around the world.
The fragile existence of communities, men, women, children and individual living with disability in compounded by poor access to basic services and support and the lack of a more coordinated and well managed interventions. It is imperative for a more concerted approach if a long term and sustainable goal to eradicate poverty is to be achieved.
A new economic model of Shared Prosperity was announced by the Prime Minister of Malaysia during the first anniversary of the Pakatan Harapan‘s rule. The target of the Shared Prosperity model is to create decent standards of living for all Malaysia and this will ensure that no one is left behind in the process of development. The new direction of the government resonates well with the theme of the Forum and it emphasises that the responsibility for poverty eradication rests with all Malaysians and it is time that we work together to achieve the nation’s aspirations and at the same time attain the SDGs.
The forum will bring together leading thinkers from Malaysia to discuss current actions, trends and their implications for the people living below the poverty line. This is the opportunity for NGOs, academics, government, non-government and private sector stakeholders to come together over one day of discussions, panels and networking to debate and discuss some of the critical challenges and opportunities in addressing poverty in the country.
Session 1 - Community Development: A Panacea for Poverty Eradication and Enhancing Wellbeing
Much has been said about the needs of the B40 (the country’s population of Bottom 40% by income group) and that this segment requires different forms of interventions based on different target groups.
However, given that the experience of poverty is multidimensional, each target group and individuals within that group thus requires multiple interventions. For example, addressing the income needs of a head of household may not be sufficient, if he or she is ageing, has multiple health conditions including mental health needs and lacks social security.
Furthermore, much of these interventions tend to be provided in silos by different government agencies and civil society organisations without participation from the B40 themselves on development of programmes that directly affect them.
This panel seeks to understand the poverty issues faced by different target groups and how community development especially participatory approaches can be used to address their needs.
Session 2 – Poverty Eradication: A Shared Responsibility
Times have changed in Malaysia, and so too must approaches to solving poverty. Much is often discussed, especially recently, on how best to measure poverty, yet the resources to tackle poverty at the local and national level – energy, time and money – are often constrained.
The reality is that meaningful social and political change on poverty is unlikely unless the responsibility is shared. While we should stay true to evidence and hold governments and other stakeholders accountable for their impact on poverty, there are others amongst us who can develop alternative and credible solutions.
This panel will discuss how we, particularly civil society organisations can or have worked together to develop credible solutions, collaborations and partnerships on the areas that will make the biggest impact: so that more people find a route out of poverty through work, access to quality education and a better social security system amongst others.