Monday, July 15, 2013

The justification for poverty reduction is...poverty reduction

The Monkey Cage links to this post on aid and conflict in Asia, which contains this passage:
...issues of inequality, discrimination and identity rather than poverty are often the drivers of sectarian violence and conflict. ...Yet it is often business as usual for aid donors, who continue to focus on traditional projects for poverty reduction and access to services. Many projects are justified on the basis of 'contributing to peace' but evidence suggests that, at best, development alone does not guarantee peace. At worst, aid risks doing harm by exacerbating existing drivers of conflict or by reinforcing local power dynamics and discriminatory practices.
Which is why poverty reduction should not be justified as "contributing to peace," but rather on the basis that poverty reduction is a good thing in itself. The justification for poverty reduction is poverty reduction.

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