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CSocD60 Statement: Voices of our IBVM/CJ Network

If we are going to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals on poverty and hunger, all people must have a voice. Member States must incorporate a wide variety of perspectives into their policy and program decision-making so that no one is left behind.

The 60th Session of the Commission on Social Development provided us with the opportunity to bring the voices, experiences, and recommendations from our network especially the grassroots through a Written Statement submitted and an Oral Statement presented on behalf of our network.

We wrote about the experiences and the work of our network in Kenya and India to respond to the need of  those affected by poverty and hunger due to the pandemic. Based on the information from our network we wrote that:

In Kenya, significant efforts were undertaken to alleviate the effects of the pandemic on the 14,181 children in our community-based program, Lea Toto. These children reside in resource-poor communities surrounding the city of Nairobi, most residing in one-bedroom huts and living on or below the poverty line. Efforts were made to continue providing the 3493 children living with HIV with their anti-retroviral medicine and to keep all the children healthy during the lockdown. … from May 2020, our network began to provide food support to an increasing number of households. By December, they had served 1,874 families with 10,241 members.

Our network in India also responded to the Covid-19 crisis. Due to the lockdown, all the industries and factories were shut down and the markets were closed.  …Our community was advised to “ensure that no one dies of hunger in your area.” …our networks distributed dry rations on an emergency basis among the most vulnerable, including the Mahadalits, Musahars, transgender people, nomads, gypsies, widows, those without ration cards, and the differently abled.

We called on Member States to:

  • Ensure that people everywhere have access to essential services and social protection.
  • Increase investments in governance, social protection, the green economy, and digitalization that, according to the United Nations Development Programme, could lift 74 million women and girls out of extreme poverty by 2030.
  • Reform policies for social spending on public services such as education, health and social protection that have a proven positive impact on reducing poverty, particularly for the women and girls who are the most dependent on them.

You can read our Written Statement HERE.

You can watch our intern, Riya Bhargava deliver our Oral Statement HERE.

We also endorsed the statements of the following NGOs:

Author: Cynthia Mathew cj