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Governments should lead in poverty alleviation programs: ADB Vice President

Business2018-06-28

By APD writer Melo M. AcunaMANILA, June 28 (APD) – Different governments should lead in poverty alleviation measures to make growth inclusive.  As far as Stephen P. Groff, Asian Development Bank vice president for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific is concerned, China has done “an amazing job” in addressing poverty challenges over the last three decades.In an exclusive interview at the sidelines of 12th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction which began Wednesday morning at the Philippine International Convention Center at Pasay City, Mr. Groff said from large-scale infrastructure projects that brought industrial development to Eastern China, the ADB has involved itself in the construction of highways and railways.“As China started to grow, as the economy increased, we addressed poverty challenges and moved westward and northward,” Groff said.  He added during their shift to China’s western side, they got involved in infrastructure and both rural and urban development in smaller and tertiary cities.Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development BankAsked what other countries like the Philippines can learn from China, Groff said countries need to take the lead in addressing the challenge of poverty.He said China did its role and the ADB just supported the programs.He said governments, just like China, need to focus on infrastructure investment to address bottlenecks because people need to have access to service, education, health and transportation facilities.  Countries should be able to bring electricity to its countryside because without it, there would be no services like education and health care.However, Groff said governments should also focus on human development through appropriate measures in the fields of education and health services because infrastructure would mean nothing without healthy and educated work force.  Social protection should also be given importance.He also emphasized on the importance of regional cooperation as what happened between China and countries within its border within the Greater Mekong sub-region and in Central Asia which hope to bolster trade relations among neighbors.  The senior ADB official said agriculture plays a significant role in most, if not all poor countries, because the sector provides employment and stirs the economy in the countryside.He explained confronting poverty ought to remain the governments’ priority because most poor people in the Asia Pacific region reside in the countryside.  Agricultural crops should be able to resist the rigors of climate change.The once-controversial Conditional Cash Transfer has begun to show improvements in health and education where poor families are required to send their children to school and have themselves checked-up at government health facilities.Asked what he foresees as challenges for the Asia Pacific region, Mr. Groff said climate change should be taken seriously because Southeast Asia and the Pacific proves to be more vulnerable to the impact of climate change.  He added while automation may bring great opportunity to the region, it may also exacerbate the inequality among countries of the region.He said governments should also look into developments in the region’s demography because there are countries where ageing population also bring about challenges to government facilities and services.(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

By APD writer Melo M. Acuna

MANILA, June 28 (APD) – Different governments should lead in poverty alleviation measures to make growth inclusive.  

As far as Stephen P. Groff, Asian Development Bank vice president for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific is concerned, China has done “an amazing job” in addressing poverty challenges over the last three decades.

In an exclusive interview at the sidelines of 12th ASEAN-China Forum on Social Development and Poverty Reduction which began Wednesday morning at the Philippine International Convention Center at Pasay City, Mr. Groff said from large-scale infrastructure projects that brought industrial development to Eastern China, the ADB has involved itself in the construction of highways and railways.

“As China started to grow, as the economy increased, we addressed poverty challenges and moved westward and northward,” Groff said.  He added during their shift to China’s western side, they got involved in infrastructure and both rural and urban development in smaller and tertiary cities.

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Vice-President for East Asia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific, Asian Development Bank

Asked what other countries like the Philippines can learn from China, Groff said countries need to take the lead in addressing the challenge of poverty.

He said China did its role and the ADB just supported the programs.

He said governments, just like China, need to focus on infrastructure investment to address bottlenecks because people need to have access to service, education, health and transportation facilities.  Countries should be able to bring electricity to its countryside because without it, there would be no services like education and health care.

However, Groff said governments should also focus on human development through appropriate measures in the fields of education and health services because infrastructure would mean nothing without healthy and educated work force.  Social protection should also be given importance.

He also emphasized on the importance of regional cooperation as what happened between China and countries within its border within the Greater Mekong sub-region and in Central Asia which hope to bolster trade relations among neighbors.  

The senior ADB official said agriculture plays a significant role in most, if not all poor countries, because the sector provides employment and stirs the economy in the countryside.

He explained confronting poverty ought to remain the governments’ priority because most poor people in the Asia Pacific region reside in the countryside.  Agricultural crops should be able to resist the rigors of climate change.

The once-controversial Conditional Cash Transfer has begun to show improvements in health and education where poor families are required to send their children to school and have themselves checked-up at government health facilities.

Asked what he foresees as challenges for the Asia Pacific region, Mr. Groff said climate change should be taken seriously because Southeast Asia and the Pacific proves to be more vulnerable to the impact of climate change.  He added while automation may bring great opportunity to the region, it may also exacerbate the inequality among countries of the region.

He said governments should also look into developments in the region’s demography because there are countries where ageing population also bring about challenges to government facilities and services.

(ASIA PACIFIC DAILY)

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