World Vision Responds to G20's "St. Petersburg Development Outlook"
By Boaz Wadel
Development Outlook released today is a mixed bag with a number of encouraging signs but a few concerning elements.
The Outlook doesn't mention children once, which is worrying in its implication. Specifically improving the health and education prospects of children under the age of five makes economic and moral sense. Evidence shows that for every five percent decrease in the number of their children dying under the age of five, a country's economy grows by one percent every year, for ten years. We would like to see this recognized officially and in practice by the Development Working Group.
We particularly welcome its assertion and recognition that economic growth needs to benefit all, and lift people out of poverty. But there is no specific mention of addressing inequality, which is key to ensuring economic growth tackles poverty. Economic growth does not on its own improve poverty, the trickle-down effect is a myth. The Outlook doesn't go far enough on this and leaves too much wriggle room.
The Outlook continues the G20External Link's recent positive progress in linking food security and nutrition, and recognizing that it's about quality, not quantity. We welcome the focus on nutrition for everyone but are concerned that there is no acknowledgment of the need to focus on pregnant mothers and children under five. We know the "best buy" for nutrition is focusing on the first 1,000 days of a child's life, when their physical and mental development is so vulnerable. It needs to recognize that undernutrition in children contributes to a lack of cognitive development, which in turn has a major impact on productivity.
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