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What are the major challenges facing poverty reduction programmes? Which approaches and measures are likely to be the most effective for future programmes?

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Challenges facing poverty reduction programmes
Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) estimates the poor people to be approximately 923 million. Poverty is a global problem that affects nations and their citizens in different ways. FAO Research has revealed that countries in Latin America, South Asia and Sub-Sahara Africa record the highest level of poverty. In such countries, the ultimate consequence of poverty is the lowest level of socio-economic development. The impact of poverty is attributed to increased levels of insecurity, crime, violence, political unrest, and low level of living standards. Poverty manifest itself in various forms but the general indicator, is the failure of to meet basic needs, food, shelter and clothing. Social protection from poverty and dealing with inequality should be utilised in poverty eradication programmes to achieve MDG’s, respecting human rights (Economist 3). The essay explores challenges experienced by poverty reduction plans and possible strategies that can be implemented to make them effective in future.
The primary challenge facing the programmes is that poverty lacks priority in the majority of countries’ policies. Economic policies nationally and internationally do not prioritise poverty. Poverty is not given attention in many countries. Lack of priorities leads to financial constraints. Although many poverty reduction programmes have been formed worldwide, they lack support from Governments and potential sponsors.

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Governments especially in developing countries do not prioritise poverty because they lack enough fund to initiate and implement poverty reduction related programmes. Many resources are needed to eradicate poverty. An efficient poverty reduction programmes contains not only methodology of raising the living standards of people but also educating them on economic independence. Lack of enough money has seen most of the programmes collapsing. To manage and assess a programme is expensive and therefore, finance is the leading challenge affecting poverty reduction programmes (Lloyd-Jones 20).
Failure to comply with Millennium Development Goals by most countries is also another challenge to poverty eradication. FAO has been encouraging countries to take compliance with MDG’s measures to prioritise poverty and comply with their obligations and principles. Several states do not comply with FAO policies. Project managers use it as a platform to engage in mismanagement of funds. Corruption is rampant in developing countries. Government engagement with poverty eradication incorporates leaders who misuse the capital for their selfish gains. Mismanagement leads to lack of finances and consequently collapse of poverty reduction programmes ( Toye 7).
It is also evident that unequal resource allocation is a challenge in fighting poverty. The way resources are distributed in a country affect the efficiency of poverty reduction programmes. FAO report a staggering government involvement in poverty eradication. The governments can contribute indirectly by developing infrastructure and promoting agriculture. Rural and remote areas are poverty stricken, thus improved infrastructure ease accessibility. For sponsors and non-governmental organisations to reach poor citizens, the government should develop infrastructure and security. The majority of anti-poverty programmes are initiated by non-governmental organisations. Most countries do not have well laid down strategies and policies geared towards eradicating poverty (Chandy 3). There is the limited capacity of governments to design and implement the programmes and low-will to assist non-governmental organisations. Most developing countries spend a large part of the total budget in other issues such as security, education and health. Therefore, poverty reduction is not given enough attention and priority.
Anti-poverty programmes are also affected by the low level of participation from society. For recent past, there has been growth in the number of Ngo’s who engage citizens in agriculture and other activities with an aim of improving their living standards. However, there has been small cooperation from involved societies due to cultural beliefs. Agriculture is the primary activity that is used as a remedy for poverty but due to cultural beliefs and traditions, people do not engage it. Some people do not eat certain types of food such as pork. However much a programme encourages planting of the crops and rearing of animals; it will receive negative attitude from society. Programmes may fail due to lack of cooperation from citizens. The success of a poverty eradication programme depends on the reaction and support from area residents. To participate in agriculture and sell their produce means that they have to take part in building infrastructure so that an agricultural product reaches the market at the appropriate time (Edie 10).
Finally, lack of elaborate poverty eradication strategies affects the poverty reduction programmes substantially. There is no sufficient statistical base for evaluating the performance of the programmes. Consequently, it has leads to inadequate methodologies of delivering poverty eradication services efficiently. Internationally funded programmes lack useful databases for performance assessments and evaluation. Several measures and approaches should be implemented to ensure effective and efficient management of anti-poverty future projects (Economist 14). The following are measures and strategies to ensure the success of poverty reduction programmes.
First, the concerned governments and authorities should seek alternative sources of finance for funding various programmes. They should consider alternative sources of finances to support various projects by sourcing funds externally in the form of loans and aids. Funds can also be sourced internally through borrowing from local banks. Poverty reduction requires a substantial amount of finances. Financial constraints will reduce the development of better infrastructure, poor implementation of land related reforms, supporting of small and medium businesses to make the locals independent. In addition, governments should increase finance dedicated to poverty reduction and come up with policies of ensuring more emphasis are placed in marginalised areas.
Secondly, proper legislations and policies should be enacted to support poverty reduction programmes (Lloyd 4). Appropriate legislation and policies will help in various aspects concerning the running of poverty reduction programmes. Non-governmental organisations and academic groups have put more emphasis on the need to give economic and social rights same attention as political and civil rights. A good legislation and policies will help to attract more donors who will in turn bring in the much needed financial support for funding various projects. United Nations have adopted a human rights approach to poverty reduction and development which should be maximised.
Thirdly, the locals should be educated on the importance of development programmes and need to diversify. Cultural beliefs and tradition have been the major hindrance to poverty reduction in the less developed countries. Culture in some parts of less developed countries does not allow new developments projects such as crop farming, simply because traditionally they are known to be livestock farming community. People should be educated on various aspects of farming and other economic activities that can change their destiny. More campaigns should be carried out to enlighten the public about various economic activities in which they engage to improve their economic income. Also, the public should be allowed to participate in the implementation of various projects aimed at reducing poverty levels among different communities (Economist 15).
Fourthly, implementation of social transfer programmes. Social transfer programmes have been found to have the capability of reducing poverty and risks in the developing world. Social transfer promotes the productive capacity of each household hence reduction of poverty. Social transfers if reliable can be of significant benefits in improving family income and reducing the impacts of poverty on the community.
Finally, adoption of social protection to prevent exposure to the society to more risk that increase the poverty levels or subject them to unnecessary exploitations.The study has shown that social protection has helped to reduce the poverty level by about 10 percent (Toye 8). There exist a strong symbiotic relationship between social security and human rights. Human rights provide an avenue of implementing social protection that in turn will lead to empowerment of the communities affected by poverty.
In conclusion, poverty reduction programmes are critical in growing and improving the economy of different countries. Despite its role in economic development, the programmes are faced with serious challenges that need to be addressed. The concerned authorities should identify the significant challenges and seek ways of overcoming them. Sound poverty reduction programmes should be able to empower and improve on the living stands of the locals and promote a healthy economic growth. Poverty reduction programmes should not be a hindrance to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
References
BIBLIOGRAPHY
Chandy, C. A world free of extreme poverty- But which part? The BrookingsInstitute, 2013.
Economist, The. “Poverty: not with us,” 13 November 2013.
Eide, A. “Towards a global fight against poverty?” A human approach-based approach would make a significant difference for the poorten may 2013.
Lloyd-Jones, Tony and Carole Ranked. Urban livelihoods: a people-centred approach to reducing poverty. London: Routledge, 2014.
Toye, J. “Poverty Reduction.” Development in Practice (2007): Vol. 17, 4-5.

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