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Inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication

Economic growth is critical for poverty eradication.
Yet, an expanding economy does not mean that everyone benefits equally.

Economic growth has to be inclusive to ensure the wellbeing of the entire population. Inclusive growth requires full respect for human rights.

Inclusive growth generates decent jobs, gives opportunities for all segments of society, especially the most disadvantaged, and distributes the gains from prosperity more equally.

The first priority is to create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods for all. This will make growth inclusive and ensure that it reduces poverty and inequality. Better government policies, fair and accountable public institutions, and inclusive and sustainable business practices are essential parts of a Post-2015 agenda.

A second priority is to strive constantly to add value and raise productivity. Some fundamentals will accelerate growth everywhere:

  • Skills development
  • Supportive policies towards micro, small, and medium enterprises
  • The capacity to innovate and absorb new technologies
  • The ability to produce a higher quality and greater range of products
  • Infrastructure and other investments

Third, countries must establish a stable environment that enables business to flourish. Business wants a level playing field and to be connected to major markets. It also wants a simple regulatory framework that makes it easy to start, operate, and close a business. Small and medium firms that employ the most people are especially restricted by complicated regulations that can breed corruption.

Fourth, in order to bring new prosperity and new opportunities, growth must also usher in new ways to support sustainable consumption and production. It must also enable sustainable development.

The SDG Fund response

The SDG Fund supports initiatives that tackle inclusive growth from a multisectoral perspective and address the following dimensions:

  1. Create opportunities for good and decent jobs and secure livelihoods
  2. Support inclusive and sustainable business practices
  3. Promote better government policies and fair and accountable public institutions

For example:

  • In Mozambique, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, the SDG Fund will work with mineral extractive industries to generate economic growth and opportunities for the whole population. For example, in Mozambique, analysis indicates that the 5 largest projects in the country with an invesment of USD $3.4 billion, will generate only 33,000 direct jobs.
  • In Bangladesh and in Tanzania, the SDG Fund will contribute to the construction of the social protection systems and universal social safety nets, with special attention to the poorest women.
  • In Honduras the SDG-F will support the generation of income through the revitalization of the Lenca culture and the development of sustainable tourism micro businesses in the area, led by youth and women.
  • The armed conflict in Colombia has damaged production, institutions, food security, and social trust. Through the sustainable agricultural production of indigenous crops and their international commercialization, the SDG-F will create employment, ways of life, better nutrition, and, most importantly, peace in Cauca - one of the zones most affected by the long lasting conflict.
  • In Peru the SDG Fund will contribute to establishing an inclusive value chain in the production of quinoa and other Andean grains, so that the increase of demand in the international market can convert into economic and social improvements of currently vulnerable producers.

Current SDG Fund inclusive economic growth for poverty eradication programmes:

CountryProgramme TitleParticipating UN AgenciesTotal Budget  ($)
BangladeshStrengthening Women’s Ability for Productive New Opportunities (SWAPNO)UNDP,  ILO


ColombiaProductive and food secured territories for a peaceful and resilient population in strategic ecosystems in CaucaUNDP, UN Women, FAO, WFP


EthiopiaGender Equality and Women Empowerment - Rural Women Economic EmpowermentUN Women, FAO, IFAD, WFP


HondurasPromotion of Culture and Tourism for Local Development in Ruta LencaUNDP, UN Women


Côte d'Ivoire

Poverty reduction in San Pedro region



MozambiqueMore and better jobs in Cabo Delgado province and Nampula province - Harnessing the opportunities of the New Economy in MozambiqueILO, UNDP, UNIDO, UN Women


occupied Palestinian territoryCreating one-stop-shop to create sustainable businesses” on Inclusive Economic Growth.UN Women, FAO, ITC



Economic Inclusion and Sustainable Development of Andean Grain producers in rural areas of extreme poverty in Ayacucho and PunoILO, FAO, UNESCO


Sierra LeoneEnabling Sustainable Livelihoods Through Improved Natural Resource Governance and Economic Diversification in the Kono District, Sierra LeoneUNDP, FAO


TanzaniaJoint programme to support Tanzania’s Productive Social Safety Nets (PSSN)UNDP, UNICEF, UNFPA, ILO





Previous programmes:

Two of the MDG-F thematic windows encouraged practices related with inclusive growth, especially providing opportunities for the most vulnerable: youth, employment and migration and private sector and development. Some programmes on culture and development also tried to boost the economic potential of cultural industries to create livelihoods. Lessons learned from these programmes have been translated into a broader perspective on inclusive growth as a means of poverty reduction.