"Those who suffer or who benefit least deserve help from those who benefit most"
The widening gap between rich and poor worldwide is a major threat to global security and economic integration. Poverty is a vicious circle, being both the cause and effect of the lack of opportunities that exist for the poor to help themselves.
As a primary driver of economic growth and employment creation, the private sector plays a central role in reducing poverty. However, in many developing countries the majority of the population faces obstacles in starting or expanding industrial activities. Few small and micro-enterprises have the capacity to become stable small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and to respond to the opportunities available in the export sector and the global economy.
For MDG1, UNIDO aims to unleash the productive potential of the poorer groups in the world by promoting productive activities, industrial policies, institution-building and industrial support services.
UNIDO implements the following activities directly related to MDG1:
• Policy support for competitive industries and private sector development
• Rural and women’s entrepreneurship development
• Agro-based industries
• Food processing
• Textiles and leather
• Restoring agro-industries
• Sharing innovative agribusiness solutions
• Investment and technology
• Rural energy for productive use
Example of UNIDO project under MDG1:
SME Cluster Development Programme
The programme for SME cluster development aims at addressing the challenges associated with the lack of linkages among small businesses and support institutions, which often prevents SMEs from realizing their full growth potential particularly in the context of global value chains. To strengthen its contribution to poverty reduction, the cluster development programme increasingly focuses on working directly with the poor. Projects for SME cluster development are under way in Colombia, Ecuador, Ethiopia, India, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Morocco, Nicaragua, Pakistan and Senegal.
Example of successful SME initiative in India:
The United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID), UNIDO, together with the Government of the State of Orissa, developed a stone carving cluster support programme. The programme had the following impacts:
• Artisans in self-help groups and cooperatives were given low-interest loans that were invested in productive activities.
• Products of the cluster are sold in new markets; the increased sales and prices for high-quality products have raised the income of both skilled and semi-skilled artisans.
• Productivity has increased by 15 to 20 per cent, product quality has improved and the cost of production has decreased, while mechanization has made work easier and improved living conditions.
• Women artisans have been able to sell their own products and have gained greater self-confidence in doing so in markets within and outside the state.