Background to the Millennium Villages project
At a UN Summit in September 2000, world leaders adopted the Millennium Declaration, which committed nations to a new global partnership to reduce extreme poverty and address pressing challenges of hunger, gender inequality, illiteracy and disease. The MVP aimed to showcase, ‘…how effective an integrated strategy for health care, education, agriculture, and small business can be’ Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. After a decade, around half a million people in 14 different sites across 10 African countries have been part of the global Millennium Villages initiative – an investment totalling in excess of US$300 million. The MVP can be viewed as an experimental application of the poverty trap theory – where extremely poor countries are ‘trapped’ in poverty and attempts to increase incomes have very little success. The central thesis of the MVP approach is that undertaking simultaneous investments (‘a big push’) would lead to a sustained development pathway out of poverty, rather than the more typical approach of smaller investments that are specific to each sector.
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Authors: Chris Barnett, Edoardo Masset, Tony Dogbe, Dee Jupp, David Korboe, Arnab Acharya, Kelsy Nelson, Rachel Eager, Tom Hilton