2014-10-16 15:21:00

What progress on the goal towards eradicating extreme poverty?

(Vatican Radio)  “Leave no one behind: think, decide and act together against extreme poverty” is the theme for the 2014 International Day for the Eradication of Poverty marked each year on October 17th.  A leading Holy See envoy said this month that “no development goal is more important and pressing for the Holy See than the eradication of extreme poverty” while Pope Francis has made clear his priority for the poor and marginalized.  But what progress are we making towards the goal of eradicating extreme poverty in our world?  Susy Hodges put that question to Neva Frecheville,  an expert on poverty issues at the Catholic Development Agency CAFOD in London.

Listen to the full interview with Neva Frecheville, a leading analyst on poverty issues at CAFOD: 

Frecheville said according to studies CAFOD carried out in a number of nations, the struggle to eradicate poverty in our world has so far yielded mixed and sometimes disappointing results.

“Whilst overall the average population may be making progress in the shift out of poverty, for the very poorest and most marginalized groups, they’ve actually stayed at the same level or in some cases even regressed.”   

Referring to the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s) aimed at helping to lift people out of poverty around the world, Frecheville said although the MDG’s have done “a huge amount of good,” much more needs to be done.

“We’ve still got quite some way to go before we really succeed in eradicating extreme poverty.”

Asked about the role of the Catholic Church and the influence of Pope Francis when it comes to the battle against poverty, Frecheville described how the Church plays a crucial role because of its emphasis on “human dignity” and that leads us to believe “in a pro-poor approach.”  In addition, she said the Church represents a constant presence amongst the poor and needy.

“Whilst NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations) come and go, the Church structure and the Church institutions are really there side by side with people living in poverty.”  


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