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End poverty to stop corona virus

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-Dr. Tipoteh

Renowned Liberian economist Dr. Togba-Nah Tipoteh, is calling on Liberians and the rest of the world to end the Poverty Pandemic thru nonviolent actions.

He said given that poor people have little opportunity of surviving under any disease attack, it is of highest importance to end The Poverty Pandemic now because this is the only way to stop the Corona Pandemic.
Dr. Tipoteh made the call on Saturday, October 17, 2020 in commemoration of the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty through the social media.

He observed that the attention of Liberians and the rest of the world have been drawn to the Corona Pandemic, which has surged to 40 million cases and more than 1 million deaths, while necessary and sufficient attention is not being given to ending The Poverty Pandemic.

According to him, the Corona Pandemic can be stopped only if necessary and sufficient attention were given to ending the Poverty Pandemic.

Dr. Tipoteh explainedthat twothirds of the world’s population live on less than USD10 a day, while half of the world’s population lives on less than USD2.50 a day and one- tenth of the world’s population lives on less than USD1.90 a day (official poverty line) citing World Bank report.

He added that 4. 80 million people have no access to adequate food, while hunger remains the main source of deaths and at the sametime over 75 million people have no access to safe drinking water (UNDP) with nearly 2 billion people havingno access to electricity (UNDP) and 7. 22,000 children die every day because they are poor, while in Liberia, two-thirds of the children who should be in school are not in school.

Board Chairperson of Susukuu, a 49-year-old Poverty Alleviation Liberia NGO, Dr. Tipoteh noted that there is lack of interest by “the powers that be” to prioritize ending the Poverty Pandemic, as it takes only USD60 billion to end extreme poverty in the world.

He also observed the Government of the People’s Republic of China (PRC), the world’s second largest economy, in terms of GDP, next to the USA, noting that since the “Opening Up” of the PRC four decades ago, China’spoverty rate has declined from 80 per cent to less than 5 per cent (World Bank). With the primacy in economic policy given to production, the PRC achieved doubledigit economic growth rates within the economic growth with economic development posture such that the income gap between the rich and the poor was narrowed considerably, he noted.

Also a former Minister of Planning and Economic Affairs, during the 1980 Military junta headed by then Master Sergeant Samuel Kanyon Doe, Dr. Tipoteh observedthatwhile the USA and the EU were struggling to achieve positive economic growth rates, given the impact of the Great Recession of 2008, the PRC managed to achieve a high positive economic growth rate of 7.8 per cent.

Hesaid now as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its latest World Economic Outlook, has reported a 4.4 per cent decline in world economic growth for 2019, the PRC is expected to have economic growth rates of 3.2 per cent and 8.2 per cent in 2020 and 2021, respectively.

With the “America First” posture of the U.S. government, the PRC government, according to Dr. Tipoteh, is posturing an “Every Country First” position to emphasize the indispensability of inclusivity rather exclusivity in the drive to end the Corona Pandemic and improve the world economy.

He pointed out that the performance of President Trump at the 2020 Virtual United Nations General Assembly was of an exclusive nature while that of President Xi was inclusive, reflecting global convergence, given the global preference for inclusivity over exclusivity in attending to global problems.

Dr. Tipoteh then recalled that he had the opportunity to observe the PRC poverty eradication experience first-handedly when he served as Chairperson of the Group at the Africa-PRC Development Experience Sharing hosted by the PRC Poverty Alleviation Center nearly a decade ago, reiterating call for non-violent actions to end the Poverty Pandemic and stop the Corona Pandemic, stressing that ending the former is the only way to stopping the latter.

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