What will it take to lift the world’s neediest out of poverty?
WITH the international community agreed on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the debate is now focusing on how to raise the resources necessary to help poor countries achieve them. Aid in itself will not be enough to make substantial progress (see box). Rather, it is part of a larger agenda whose other main components are trade and debt relief. And sustained action on these three fronts—aid, trade, and debt relief—must be accompanied by better policies and governance in developing countries so that all available resources are used productively to encourage economic growth and improve conditions for the poor.
Against this backdrop, F&D wanted to find out what some of the key players thought were the main obstacles to reaching the MDGs. We spoke to the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development, a U.K. nongovernmental organization that has campaigned hard for further debt write-offs for the heavily indebted poor countries; Norway, one of the top five aid donors; and Bangladesh and Mozambique, two developing countries that have made good progress in implementing economic reforms and have also been able to continue servicing their debt.