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Institution: International Services for Business Development
A national from Peru, holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics. He has contributed to the research, debate and decision making on policies for agriculture and rural development in Latin America. He has published extensively and has assumed leadership positions as President of the Peruvian Agricultural Economics Association and the Latin American and Caribbean Agricultural Economics Association. Dr Pomareda has been Leader of the Agroeconomics Program in Peru, Director of the Policy and Planning Program at IICA and currently he is the Executive President of Servicios Internacionales para el Desarrollo Empresarial, an Associate of ISNAR, Member of the Steering Committee of the World Bank/FAO Livestock and Environment Initiative and Consultant for several international organizations, governments and firms.
Title: The deepening of poverty and the increased complexity of solutions: The untold facts
Economists and other social scientists have tried to explain poverty and have suggested solutions, within the context of socioeconomic policy and institutional reform. As expected, science, technology and knowledge appear as meaningful ways to generate employment, food, cleaner environment and a better quality of life for everyone. The efforts have had a limited impact because other constraints have not been removed.
Experience has shown us, particularly over the last years, that a number of untold processes hide behind the structural problems of poverty. They limit the potential benefits of science and technology and even those of sound economic policies. Corruption in public-private relations; extensive drug markets and use of resources for production of drugs; money laundering within the formal and informal financial systems; violence among an increased proportion of the population; loss of values and the dehumanization of relations among people; count among the crucial facts that need to be addressed.
At the shade of economic growth over the early part of this decade, the accumulation of wealth continued, the middle class lost purchasing power the poor improved slightly and the very poor, the miserable, the abandoned, the children of the streets, the elderly and those that felt beyond the law, increased in number and lost hope. The obsessive view about the global markets, trade liberalization, privatization and being competitive, guided the policy agenda and the allocation of public funds away from the structural problems behind poverty.
The shake of international markets, the Asian financial crisis, the Russian moral chaos, the bleeding of Colombia and the increased tension within and between countries, have revealed the fragility of the model. Furthermore, these facts are providing a clear message: We can not afford to pretend ignorant or unable. Unless deep changes are enforced in policy, the efforts of science, technology and knowledge will not lead to the alleviation of poverty, neither to the solution of its structural causes. It is fundamental to rebuilt institutions and construct much better relations between governments, the private sector and civil society.