Despite the fact that most of the developing countries have recorded considerable improvements in poverty alleviation in the last decades, poverty rates are still high for a sizeable number of countries. Unfortunately, achievements in poverty alleviation in the last decades have been adversely affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Poverty is one of the essential concerns for many OIC Member Countries. 21 out of 46 Least Developed Countries (LDCs) are members of the OIC.

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 considering the expected outcomes of the relevant section of the Strategy and global development agenda as well as the priorities of the Working Group members. The COMCEC Coordination Office (CCO) conducts a research report each year, and shares its drafts with the participants prior to each working group meeting. CCO also presents a sectoral outlook report on poverty to the relevant meeting to give the overall situation at both global and OIC levels. The experts attending the Working Group Meetings find the opportunity to share their country experiences, including the success stories and the main 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 Session welcomed the report and requested the CCO to compile the activities of the OIC Institutions, which are serving to achieve the SDGs in the Member Countries and report it to the 33rd COMCEC Session. Since then, compiled lists of activities carried out by the OIC institutions for the achievement of the SDGs in member countries are presented to the COMCEC Sessions.

Lastly, SESRIC conducted “Tendency Survey on SDG Priorities of OIC Member Countries” to determine the prioritized SDG areas of the OIC. 34th Session of the COMCEC took note with appreciation of the report presented by SESRIC on the Tendency Survey on SDGs Priorities of OIC Member Countries and requested SESRIC to prepare an annual report on the progress at the OIC level towards achieving the prioritized SDGs as decided by Member States to be submitted to the Ministerial Sessions of the COMCEC. Since then, SESRIC prepares annual reports on the progress towards achievement of the prioritized SDGs in the OIC Member Countries and submits them to the COMCEC Ministerial Sessions.