Home World “Getting out of poverty is a question of political will,” according to...

“Getting out of poverty is a question of political will,” according to the Emmaus International association

“Getting out of poverty is a question of political will,” according to the Emmaus International association

"Poverty is not a fatality, it is the fact that political powers do not prioritize the excluded or the needy". On the occasion of the World Day for the Rejection of Extreme Poverty, the Emmaus International association publishes its first report on its fight against poverty on Sunday.

Its president since 2016, the Beninese Patrick Atohoun emphasizes three demands to combat poverty.

Question: What are the main lines of force in your report?

Answer: "At Emmaus, we want to show that there are alternatives out of poverty and misery. Taking into account our experience in the field, we have established three demands to get out of it.

First, involve vulnerable people to take their place in society. They have to receive a dignified, unconditional welcome. You need access to an education that allows you to develop fully. When people are educated, they can take care of them.

We also think that we have to focus the general interest at the public policy level. This is achieved with the collective management of common goods. As in Benin with Lake Nokoué, where the population was trusted and 100,000 people today have access to drinking water. And equality between men and women must be guaranteed. With the COVID-19 crisis, it is women who suffered the most precariousness, so they must be allowed access to economic activities and to make their contributions to the nation.

Finally, an economy has to be built at the service of human beings and their environment. First, develop economic and solidarity activities, such as the Emmaus recovery activity, give priority to these actors of the economic solidarity life. We have also developed health insurance in our groups so that people have access to basic care.

We believe that if policies follow these demands, we will truly leave poverty behind".

Q: Has poverty in the world worsened with the covid-19 pandemic?

A: "Covid-19 has further accentuated poverty. The World Bank tells us that when we emerge from this crisis, there will be 150 million more people in a precarious situation. This crisis shakes all the advances that these people had for years. Instead of climbing a step, we started from scratch.

We have found that there was a fragility, even more so in southern countries, where the health system is not developed. Businesses closed and people were left out. There was no help for vulnerable people, unlike in northern countries, although on both sides, the lockdown had serious repercussions. In Benin, Emmaus took in people who had nothing to eat and distributed food".

Q: So is eliminating poverty possible?

A: "Everything is possible, it is a question of political will! With our programs, we have reached almost 200,000 people directly. People who have maybe five or six people behind them. If we, at the Emmaus level – our small refuge of 425 groups – are able to reach people from India, Peru or elsewhere, why couldn’t our politicians, with the means at their disposal, be able to do the same?

We say: ‘Getting out of poverty is possible!’

Our intention is that our allies can appropriate this call: poverty is not a fatality, it is the fact that political powers do not prioritize the excluded or the needy. If we make these demands our own, we will have a better world where everyone can benefit from their fundamental rights".

.

No Comments

Leave A Reply

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Exit mobile version