Despite the fact that most of the developing countries have recorded considerable improvements in poverty alleviation in recent years, poverty rates are still high for a sizeable number of countries. Poverty is also one of the essential concerns of quite a good number of the OIC member countries. 21 out of 48 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are members of the OIC. Furthermore, 21 percent of the total population of the OIC lives on less than 1,90 US Dollar per day.
Poverty alleviation is a permanent agenda item of the COMCEC. It was also defined as one of the cooperation areas of the COMCEC in the COMCEC Strategy. The strategic objective of the cooperation in poverty alleviation is defined as “Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger in the member countries”. Aid Effectiveness, Productive Capacity of the Poor, Effective Utilization of Financial Resources and Monitoring Poverty have been identified as the output areas in the poverty alleviation section of the Strategy.
Poverty Alleviation Working Group focuses in each meeting on a specific theme selected among the expected outcomes of the relevant section of the Strategy and through the questionnaires circulated to the Working Group members. The COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO) conducts an analytical study for each meeting, and shares it with the participants prior to each working group meeting. CCO also presents a sectorial outlook report on poverty to the relevant meeting in order to give the overall state of the sector in the world as well as in the OIC Member States. The experts attending the Working Group Meetings find the opportunity to share their country experiences, including the success stories and the major obstacles. After each meeting, the proceedings documents which provide summaries of the presentations made during the meeting and the policy debates are prepared by the CCO. Click for more information on the meetings of the COMCEC Poverty Alleviation Working Group.
Moreover, the ongoing cooperation efforts in the area of poverty alleviation have been carried out under the Islamic Solidarity Fund for Development (ISFD) , Special Program for Development of Africa (SPDA), and the Vocational Education and Training Program for the OIC Member Countries (OIC‐VET)
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development aims at achieving a transition from the Millennium Development Agenda through realizing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) had focused on the challenges of the poor countries; nevertheless the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a more comprehensive development agenda which concerns all countries regardless of their level of development.
Since the adoption of the MDGs, a great progress has been achieved worldwide. However, eradicating poverty remains one of the major global challenges for sustainable development and it occupies the first place on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “End poverty in all its forms everywhere”.
Recognizing the importance of the issue, the 30th COMCEC Ministerial Session, which was held in November 2014, requested Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group and the COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO) to conduct a joint study reflecting the OIC perspective on the SDGs and Post-2015 Development Agenda. Accordingly, the CCO and IDB prepared a study titled “The Critical Success Factors in the Implementation of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals: Current Situation and Prospects for the OIC” and this study was welcomed by the 31st COMCEC Session. Moreover, relevant Ministers of the Member Countries deliberated on “Post-2015 Development Agenda and Development Challenges of the Islamic Ummah: Improving Basic Services Delivery” during the Ministerial Exchange of Views Session of the 31st COMCEC Meeting. Additionally, a number of special sessions on different aspects of the SDGs were organized with the following themes:
- Implementing SDGs and Post-2015 Development Agenda: Financing Sustainable Development
- Closing Data Gap for Monitoring the SDGs and the Post-2015 Development Agenda
- Cooperation and Partnership for Sustainable Development: NGO and Private Sector Engagement
Furthermore, in accordance with the relevant resolution of the 32nd Follow-up Committee Meeting, COMCEC Coordination Office in consultation with IDB Group and the Statistical, Economic and Social Research and Training Centre for Islamic Countries (SESRIC) prepared a report on possible role and contributions of the concerned OIC institutions to the achievement of the SDGs in the member countries, including their sub-targets. The 32nd COMCEC Seesion welcomed the report and requested the CCO to compile the activities, which are conducted on the implementation of the SDGs in the Member Countries and submit a report to the 33rd COMCEC Session. In this respect, a report was compiled listing the activities carried out by OIC institutions for the achievement of the SDGs in member countries and presented to the 33rd Session of the COMCEC. The Session welcomed this report and requested CCO to submit a similar report to the next COMCEC Session.
Lastly, SESRIC presented the results of the survey titled “Tendency Survey on SDG Priorities of OIC Member Countries” to the 33rd COMCEC Session. The 33rd Session of the COMCEC invited the Member Countries that have not yet completed the survey to do so and requested SESRIC to submit the results of the survey to the 34th Follow-up Committe of the COMCEC and the 34th Session of the COMCEC.