A Critical Note on Poverty Eradication Target of Sustainable Development Goals

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Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aim big - as one of its target is to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030 for all people everywhere. This paper offers a critical review and outlines some potential challenges in achieving this noble target. In doing so, it offers a critical review of poverty scholarship to assess the notion of extreme poverty adopted in the SDGs. This also takes stock of past global anti-poverty programmes to set an appropriate context for forecasting potential challenges to eradicate poverty everywhere. It is highlighted that i) a number of poor countries will have to perform a magic against their track records, ii) the world needs to be consistently peaceful, iii) significant and
equitable reform should take place within world economic structure, iv) quality and international comparability of poverty data in poor countries need to be improved significantly, and v) uncertainty about required investment in poor countries should be addressed rigorously in order for achieving poverty eradication target of the SDGs. These lead to the argument that without strong political commitments by all related stakeholders and an approach to look beyond existing models poverty eradication target may turn out to be another statement of good intentions by the international aid architecture with little meaningful practical relevance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-110
Number of pages24
JournalEuropean Journal of Sustainable Development
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016


  • poverty
  • poverty eradication
  • extreme poverty
  • Sustainable Development Goals
  • SDGs
  • millenium development goals
  • MDGs
  • dollarisation of poverty
  • developing countries


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