What is needed to eliminate extreme poverty?
In their experience, with regard to over 30 countries, North and South, and actions taken, the ATD Fourth World movement has launched several discussions and plans of action:
Extreme poverty is not to be accepted as fate, it is the work of mankind which can be ended. This conviction spurs action in the field with people in extreme poverty and the different social and economic players. It also spurs responsibility on all levels in the society: local, regional, national and international to create ambitious policies for fighting against extreme poverty.
Extreme poverty affects all aspects of life : education, professional training, work, resources, housing, access to health care, participation in social, political, cultural and spiritual outlets in life. Fighting against extreme poverty includes taking into account simultaneously all of these aspects which are so strongly intertwined.
To effectively fight against extreme poverty, it is best to create conditions conducive to the active contribution of people and social groups that live in extreme poverty and fight as hard as they can. Winning their contribution creates an environment of trust and exchange of ideas.
To reach the people and groups affected most by extreme poverty, it is necessary that available persons go to the places where they are forced to live or seek refuge and establish with them lasting and trustworthy alliances. These alliances will help to create and gear up for the necessary changes.
The evaluation of any program and policy for fighting against extreme poverty must be made by calculating the benefits that will be derived for the people and groups that suffer the most and undergo the most severe exclusion. This type of evaluation must be done with them.
Eliminating extreme poverty would therefore be an implementation of ambitious policies on the local, national and international scene, equipped with verifiable financial and human means, which can only lead to a profound change in mentality by everyone.