Seminar Tutor: Amjed
Word Count: 2025
8.What role do NGOs play in reducing poverty in developing countries? Introduction
When it comes to poverty reduction in developing countries one often thinks of charities like Oxfam, Water Aid, Christian Aid, Red Cross and many others and the work they do to help reduce poverty. Non-governmental organizations such as these mentioned above play a central part in poverty reduction in many developing countries such as those in sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia, Latin America and also those of Eastern Europe. Third World countries, as some may call them, have benefited from charity organizations and their work in reducing poverty. NGOs work hand in hand with governments and private organizations, as well as citizens of these countries, to alleviate poverty by providing services such as medical, education, agricultural, water, shelter and many more. There are so many projects which NGOs run to help empower the people of the developing countries, such as making available facilities that help in the well being of these individuals living in poverty. For example, orphanages, sanitation facilities and water-pumps are some of the projects NGOs undertake. They also raise awareness and campaign for the poor people so that the world does not forget about them. The developing world has seen an increase in the number of these organizations; this essay will look at some of the specific roles which NGOs play in the developing countries to reduce poverty.
NGOs are not for profit organization; they are more driven by values and ideals, which is why many communities in the developing world have come to trust them to meet their needs as they seem to care for the communities they serve more than the private organizations which are more interested in profit margins. Non Governmental Organization are a part of civil society and “in recent years, there has been an increasing appreciation of the role played by the citizen sector, or “civil society” voluntary action, including that of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs)” (Todaro and Smith, 2009. Pp.70-71). Todaro and Smith continue to say that “a strong NGO sector can help a developing nation make progress in addressing problems of development such as poverty alleviation and expanding social inclusion”.
Poverty in the Third World countries has been at the centre of many charity organizations’ agenda and the world in general. Although poverty is to a great extent subjective and can be relative, especially in the developed countries, the developing world has seen a huge amount of people living in absolute poverty; there have been many debates about poverty and how to measure it. Poverty means different things to different people in the third world countries. For example, when asked what poverty is a poor woman from Uganda said that “when one is poor, she has no say in public, she feels inferior. She has no food, so there is famine in her house; no clothing and no progress in her family.” On the other hand, a participant in a discussion group in Brazil said poverty was “low salaries and lack of jobs. And it’s also not having medicine, food and clothes” (Todaro and Smith, 2009. p.6). The World Bank defines absolute poverty as living on US$1 per day (Allen and Thomas, 2002. p. 13). United Nations member states came together in 2002 to agree on an action plan to help alleviate poverty and help poor countries achieve sustainable development. One of the goals was to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger. These goals are called the ‘Millennium Development Goals’ (MDG) (Sachs, 2005. Pp.200-202). These objectives have become a bench mark for development agencies, including the NGOs, to measure themselves against in order to see how they are doing in the battle against poverty.
There are so many roles NGOs play in the developing world. One of the roles that NGOs play to alleviate poverty in third world countries is by providing small loans...