• Sharing development experience between Latin America and Africa | Helen Clark

    29 May 2012

    Bolsa Familia
    Cash transfer programmes – such as Brazil’s Bolsa Familia – target low-income households, help reduce poverty levels, and increase access to education and health services.

    More than 40 social development ministers from Latin America and the Caribbean and Africa are gathering this week in Brasilia to discuss how both regions can exchange experiences and increase co-operation to end poverty. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is proud to be the facilitator of this historic gathering.

    It takes place less than a month before the Rio +20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development.  There, world leaders, along with thousands of participants from governments, the private sector, and civil society organisations will gather to discuss how to build a more sustainable future—a crucial challenge for developing and developed countries alike.  

    It is clear that countries can no longer afford to grow first and try to clean up later. Or grow first and try to become more equitable later.  Growth divorced from advances in human development and without regard for the environment will not sustain advances in human development, and will damage the ecosystems on which life on our planet depends.  

    Two weeks ago, UNDP’s Africa Human Development Report on food security was launched in Nairobi with the President of Kenya.  Despite sub-Saharan Africa’s significant rates of economic growth, hunger continues to affect nearly a quarter of its population – which adds up to more than the entire population of Brazil (the fifth largest country in the world).  

    There is much experience to share between Latin America and Africa on the eradication of poverty and hunger, and not least through social protection systems. Social programmes like Brazil’s Bolsa Familia, Chile Solidario and Mexico’s Oportunidades have been widely praised.

    This Fifth Ministerial Forum for Development will encourage even greater co-operation between the nations of Latin America and Africa.  South-South co-operation and exchanges highlight development solutions which, adapted to national contexts, can help nations achieve their goals.  

    Talk to us: How can countries share experiences to boost global progress on the economic, social, and environmental strand of sustainable development?