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Tom Arnold was previously Assistant Secretary General with the Irish Department of Agriculture and Food and was Senior Economist with ACOT, the Farm Advisory Service.At an earlier stage of his[…]

The CEO says the goal to reduce poverty by half by 2015 is still achievable.

Question: Are the MDG’s realistic benchmarks?

Arnold:    It has two parts to it.  One is having poverty and the other, as a connected goal, is having hunger.  Is it realistic?  Theoretically, yes, but in many countries are way off track at this stage.  Many countries, particularly in Africa, are way off track.  And if…  We’re now more than halfway through that period, the goal was set in 2000, the target is 2015, and if we are to have a chance to achieving that, there needs to be a much greater urgency, indeed more resources, and it’s getting, going to become more difficult to get those resources in the current economic climate.  So, it goes back to the point I made earlier, that the resources we have at our disposal, the development community, let’s put it that way, those resources are going to have to be used very intelligently and very strategically.  And the partnership that is implicit in achieving those goals between countries themselves, the ownership of their development process and the other development actors, the donors, the NGOs and so on, those partnerships have to really work, because if they do work, then you can do a lot more with the resources that you have.