[United Nations Country Team Message] On International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

Ending poverty is a challenging task, but also a possible one. Three years to the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the goal of ending poverty and hunger remains a global, regional and national priority.

MDG 1, on eradicating extreme poverty and hunger impacts directly—and indirectly—on the achievement of the other 7 MDGs: access to  universal education; attaining gender equality; provision of child and maternal health; combating HIV/AIDS; ensuring environmental sustainability; as well as developing a global partnership for development.

Poverty eradication therefore holds the key to sustainable development and lasting peace. As the UN Secretary-General says in his message to mark the International Day for Eradication of Poverty, “On this International Day, let us make an investment in our common future by helping to lift people out of poverty so that they, in turn, can help to transform our world.”

In sub-Saharan Africa, including Zimbabwe, the goal of poverty eradication has assumed a new urgency. Accordingly, Zimbabwe, through the Medium Term Plan 2011-2015, which is the Government’s development blueprint, seeks among others to transform the economy by reducing poverty, creating jobs and maintaining macroeconomic stability in the country.

In support of the Medium Term Plan and the achievement of the MDGs, through the 2012-2015 Zimbabwe UN Development Assistance Framework, the UN in Zimbabwe helps in the building of resilient national institutions to deliver effective services and sustain external shocks, including strengthening social protection systems, improving emergency preparedness, investing in sustainable agriculture, improving livelihood opportunities for both rural and urban poor, and strengthening the provision of basic services such as education, healthcare, and sanitation.

During the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, held in June this year, leaders from around the world declared that poverty eradication is “the greatest global challenge facing the world today.” UN member states, including Zimbabwe, therefore agreed to develop a UN development framework for the period beyond 2015 MDG deadline. This new framework will build on the MDGs while confronting persistent inequalities and new challenges facing people and the environment.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the United Nations Country Team renews its commitment to support national development efforts and to ensure equitable and sustainable development in Zimbabwe.