is estimated that 1.3 billion people live on less than US$
1 per day. This number is growing steadily as civil wars,
loss of employment and restructuring of societies are creating
newly poor groups. Respect for human rights, meeting basic
human needs and more equitable distribution of wealth, are
clear priorities for the eradication of poverty. Ultimate
success, however, will only be ensured when there is a willingness
and commitment on the part of the non-poor to assist in the
elimination of the human degradation which poverty creates.
The United Nations Decade for Poverty Eradication (1997-2006)
is a worldwide endeavour to confornt the problem of human
degradation caused by abject poverty. In this context, education
plays an important role, however the question arises : "What
can education do ?".
In response, UNESCO has initiated a programme in education
that will contribute towards poverty eradication
was held on the Role of Education
in Poverty Eradication with representatives of
other agencies and from governments (UNDP, UNICEF, The World
Bank, WHO, Netherlands co-operation, Malawi, Guinea, Sentro
- an NGO in Mali). This was followed by a round table held
with experienced personnel in the field during the 29th session
of the General Conference. A draft framework for action has
been prepared in co-operation with the Comparative Research
Programme on Poverty (CROP), an NGO based in Norway and
distributed to other sectors and agencies.
UNESCO with the support of UNDP has undertaken a five country
study on education and poverty alleviation. The report has
been printed and widely distributed.
through its development strategies, to create an environment
conducive to poverty alleviation -Link
to Netaid Website
Under the signed
of Understanding with Grameen Bank, UNESCO prepared
a draft programme framework for the education of the families
of Grameen Bank members. For the initial phase of the programme,
research was done on the educational needs of 500 Grameen
Bank families and a training and information programme was
started in 22 training centres with 22 trained facilitators.
A resource centre and two mobile resource boxes "Hiramon"
attached to rickshaws have been constructed. They carry information
and education to the people in their villages.
Training and information booklets have been prepared and utilized.
Grameen Bank has established an Education Trust with a Director
for managing the education programme. An information brochure
on the programme is available at Grameen Bank in Bangladesh.