Idb's Strategic Agenda
Poverty alleviation has been identified by the bank as one of the development themes for its medium-term strategic agenda. This agenda was prepared about two years ago after a considerable exchange of views and discussions with member countries and experts from various development financing institutions. The agenda identified five development themes for the bank. These are: promotion of cooperation among member countries, particularly through trade financing, poverty alleviation, support for science and technology, human resources development, conservation of environment, and private sector assistance. In addition to these cross-cutting development themes, the strategic agenda also identified agriculture and food security, medium and small scale industry, education and health, and transport and communications as the priority sectors for the bank. For each of these sectors, the strategic agenda indicates the specific areas on which the bank is expected to focus for its financing operations.
The IDB recognises the fact that economic growth per se is far from sufficient in reducing poverty which requires specific strategies to tackle the problem directly. It is also aware that investments in removing poverty can have very high rates of financial and economic return. Poverty alleviation is now an important element of the bank's development assistance. In addressing this problem, the main elements of bank's efforts are the following:
- The bank is making conscious efforts to develop projects which have direct poverty alleviation elements particularly in the least developed member countries. The bank is also revitalising its assistance to depressed areas and support to the most vulnerable groups.
- In the process of developing and designing projects, the bank pays due regard to addressing issues pertaining to poverty alleviation. It tries to specifically target projects which can support the poorer segments of the population.
- The bank is trying to raise the productivity of the physical assets of the poor in the member countries through the provision on adequate infrastructure, technology, appropriate financing and availability of complementary and marketing facilities in the context of demand-driven agricultural extension services as well as availability of inputs.
- The bank encourages the involvement of community based organisations as a means topromote the effective participation of beneficiaries in project sustainability.
- Most importantly, the bank gives preference to projects that improve the human capital of the poor through focusing on basic education, particularly vocational training, adult education as well as education for women and basic health services.
- The bank attempts to expand its social sector assistance to provide a sharper focus on rural development. It makes every effort to enhance the complementarities between projects which strengthen food security and poverty alleviation, such as the enhancement of incomes of small farmers and the rural poor.
Source: Poverty Alleviation in Pakistan: Present Scenario and Future Strategy, Mohibul Haq Sahibzada. Republished with permission.
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