Guyana urges more support for poverty eradication

−COVID-19 erased significant gains
-Min. Todd

The Government of Guyana is again calling for enhanced and deepened support in all forms for the South-South and Triangular Co-operation modalities to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly the goal to eliminate extreme poverty.  

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation, the Hon. Hugh Todd made this statement today in his address during the High-Level Video Conference on Poverty Eradication and South-South Co-operation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the Hon. Hugh Todd

South-South co-operation, the Minister said, “has enabled many of our countries to cope with development-related issues, including the fight against poverty.” In this regard, Minister Todd noted the discourse comes at an especially critical time as the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has erased significant gains made over the last decade, by many countries in the south, in terms of development, and by extension progress towards poverty eradication,” the Minister said.

As a consequence, he added, the pandemic is a direct threat to achieving SDG Goal One to eradicate extreme poverty.  

“This is evidenced by the statistics which indicate that the global pandemic could worsen global poverty by as much as half a billion people, or 8 per cent of the world’s population, at a time when approximately 700 million people live in extreme poverty, most of them residing in the countries of the south,” Minister Todd said.

The Foreign Affairs Minister said due consideration has to be given to the challenges faced by many developing countries in areas of climate change, inequality, environmental damage, peace and justice, and financing for development.

The Government of Guyana is cognisant of its obligation to provide the economic and social space necessary for its citizens, particularly the most vulnerable, to cope with the pandemic.  It has put in place several measures to cushion its direct impact, the most important of which was the announcement by His Excellency Dr. Mohamed Irfaan Ali of several relief measures, including a $25,000 cash transfer for every household. 

Minister Todd said in some instances some measures were “through tangible demonstrations of collaboration and co-operation with our South-South Development partners.” He also noted that development partners in the North have contributed to the progress made by many of the Region’s countries, but input from other partners in the Global Development Community is also welcome.

Minister Todd said, “the development community will not be exhausted in this call for continued North-South co-operation along with South-South Co-operation for the promotion and support of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a whole, and the eradication of poverty in particular.”

South-South Co-operation refers to the technical co-operation among developing countries in the Global South. The group collaborates in areas of politics, economics, social, cultural, environmental and technical domains. The Conference of the South-South Co-operation is held during the UN General Assembly.

Triangular Co-operation is a collaboration with traditional donor countries and multilateral organisations facilitated by South-South initiatives, through the provision of funding, training, management and technological systems, as well as other forms of support.

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