Faith communities must have bigger voice in fight against world poverty says Alliance

11 January 2013

The call comes in the Alliance’s response to the consultation by the high level panel established by the UN to identify new priorities for the world’s development community when the current Millenium Development Goals come to an end in 2015. 

The MDGs which set out goals to halve poverty and achieve goals in education, health, infant mortality and women’s health, guided the international development community’s work until 2015. The UN secretary general last year set up a high level panel to draw up a plan for the global campaign against world poverty post 2015.

In response to an on-line consultation, the Anglican Alliance said:

* Faith communities provide great potential for being effective partners in buildng the consensus for pro-poor development and their work in providing services for some of the poorest and most marginalised communities in the world should be recognised and brought into the mainstream.The Alliance also recommended that faith communities should be involved in monitoring the effectiveness of a new framework to combat world poverty.

*  There needed to be a focus on quality of services provided, as well as quantitative targets. In many countries, services provided by churches, including especially education and health, were regarded by the public as being of higher quality than government-run services.

* Inequality within societies needed to be tackled. However, the Alliance also said there needed to continue to be a focus on the disproportionate levels of poverty in some countries. Otherwise acute poverty in small countries could be overlooked, and instead attention could focus on the large numbers of poor people living in more affluent countries.

* The Alliance paid tribute to the work of Anglican churches and agencies in conflict affected countries. It said that faith communities were often the only agencies that remained in conflict affected countries, and they needed to be more closely involved in peace and reconciliation work.

* The Alliance set out the nine development priorites that had emerged during its global consultations, and said that people were eager to have their voices heard in the global debate, and had shown “an extraordinary capacity to access and use new technology in the most challenging of circumstances”.

“The Anglican Alliance works to provide a mechanism by which the churches and agencies of the Anglican Communion can engage with the development actors at national and international level, both to provide a voice for the margnialised communities to which the church ministers, and to provide services which contribute to the achievement of the MDGs. Because faith-based organisations are embedded in local communities, they can play a unique role in building the global consensus for a new framework to fight world poverty. It is recommended that there is a mechanism for engaging with them, both in designing the new framework, and also monitoring its effectiveness, ” the Alliance submission says.