August 08, 2023

All-Party Parliamentary Group convenes to tackle extreme poverty ahead of SDG Summit

The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Extreme Poverty convened at the UK Parliament in Westminster for a crucial meeting on the global efforts to combat extreme poverty. The gathering, which took place in July, brought together 60 key stakeholders including government officials, academics, civil society representatives, and Members of Parliament (MPs). The speakers at the event included Andrew Mitchell MP, the Minister for Development and Africa at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office; Melissa Leach, Director of the Institute of Development Studies and Chris Law MP, Chair of the APPG on Extreme Poverty. The session was facilitated by Sadna Samaranayake, Chief Strategy Officer at BRAC Global. 

The purpose of the session was to deliberate on the UK’s progress and challenges related to the eradication of extreme poverty (SDG 1), ahead of the SDG Summit to be held in New York in September. 

Andrew Mitchell MP highlighted the urgency of the UK’s commitment to SDG 1 as well as the challenges currently facing the world today in terms of economic prosperity, such as the Covid-19 pandemic, the Ukraine war and rising inflation, all of which caused millions of people to slide back into poverty, undoing decades of positive gains. Despite these challenges, Andrew Mitchell MP reiterated the UK’s position and commitment to the poorest of the poor: “We’re at the halfway point of the SDGs and we are way off track. 50 million people are on the verge of famine. The British position is to focus on the poorest people, particularly through access to climate funding and adaptation.”

Melissa Leach stressed the importance of equity in human development and how the intersection of aspects such as gender and disability lead to starkly different levels of poverty: a girl in northern Nigeria is more likely to be living in an extreme situation than a man. Intersectional poverty is thus an important consideration. She explained the need to build people’s resilience in the face of crisis, better connecting development efforts with humanitarian aid. She also focused on the  need to adapt and expand social protection measures. Melissa put forward BRAC’s ultra-poor graduation approach as an amazing example of linking cash support with integrated services and support as well as the importance of listening to people themselves when it comes to solutions to pressing problems such as climate change and poverty. 

In fact, a key theme of the discussion was that climate change and poverty require a united approach, as both problems are deeply linked. The links between climate change and conflict were also discussed, as well as the importance of centring women and girls in extreme poverty programming.

To learn more about the work of the APPG and sign up to receive updates about the next meeting, visit our website.