Although the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped by more than half between 1990 and 2015 (from 1.9 billion to 836 million), too many people are still struggling to meet the most basic human needs. Today, eradicating poverty in all its forms remains one of humanitys greatest challenges. It is true that in the past two decades, rapid global economic growth and increased agricultural productivity have reduced the proportion of the worlds undernourished by almost 50 per cent and many developing countries that used to suffer from famine and hunger can now meet the nutritional needs of the most vulnerable. Much more is needed, however, to end hunger and eradicate poverty by 2030. Extreme hunger and malnutrition remain huge barriers to development in many countries. In 2014, it was estimated that over 795 million people were chronically undernourished, often as a direct consequence of environmental degradation, drought and loss of biodiversity.
Towards a Solution
The Government of Chile considers international cooperation for development of vital importance in accelerating progress towards the achievement of internationally agreed development goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and shares its social and economic transformation experience with other countries through South-South cooperation. Chiles development progress offers valuable lessons and guidance to other countries, including in the design, implementation and assessment of policies that can accelerate social and economic progress. In each context, one of Chiles foreign policy priorities is to increase development cooperation. In 2006, the Government approved Law N° 20.138 earmarking up to $5 million per year to finance initiatives targeting the eradication of hunger and poverty in lower- and middle-income countries. It raises funds through passenger contributions on international flights, with $2 of the airport tax paid by every passenger devoted to international action against hunger and poverty in the world. In 2012, UNDP, jointly with the Government of Chile, launched the Chile Fund against Hunger and Poverty in order to promote Chiles international cooperation policy in accordance with its commitment to the MDGs and SDGs.
The Chile Fund against Hunger and Poverty uses three innovative delivery mechanisms to achieve results: (a) calls for proposals for projects designed by Chilean civil society organizations; (b) projects presented by public institutions or United Nations organizations with representation in Chile; and (c) responses to requests for humanitarian assistance. The success of this initiative is based on an open, competitive process that civil society organizations, government institutions and United Nations organizations undergo. The proposals that they submit compete according to pre-established technical criteria designed to promote feasible and sustainable projects. Only projects that have received a high technical score are granted funds. The Government of Chile and UNDP are responsible for the design, preparation, assessment and supervision of the activities financed by the Fund. A steering committee has been established that is responsible for all decisions regarding project selection and the monitoring of their implementation.
The creation of the Fund has provided a platform for civil society organizations and other institutions to systematize good practices, share knowledge and collect suggestions to improve the next call for proposals. This has included organizing workshops to improve coordination and synergy among participating countries and publishing best practices and successes to promote knowledge-sharing.
Since 2012, the Fund has awarded over $3.5 million to 34 South-South cooperation projects in over 30 countries in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the Pacific implemented by civil society organizations, Chilean public institutions and United Nations organizations. Moreover, the Fund has fast-tracked an additional $815,000 to support humanitarian responses to crises in Gaza, Mali, South Sudan and beyond. Owing to the success of the initiative, the Government of Chile has extended the Fund for an additional four years with an increased budget of $12 million. It has also ensured its financial sustainability through Law N° 20.138, which provides year-to-year predictable resources and financial stability, making sure that the Fund is replenished despite changes in government or an eventual financial crisis.
Contact: Ms. Marcela Quezada, South-South Cooperation Coordinator, UNDP Chile, firstname.lastname@example.org; Mr. Marco Fernández, Executive Secretary of the Chilean Fund, email@example.com
Project name: Chile Fund against Hunger and Poverty
Countries: Chile and over 30 countries in the Africa region, the Asia and the Pacific region, and the Latin America and the Caribbean region
Sustainable Development Goal targets: 1.1, 1.2, 1.4, 1.a, 2.1, 2.2, 17.1, 17.3
Supported by: Government of Chile
Implementing entity: Chilean International Cooperation Agency
Project status: Ongoing
Project period: 2015-2018 (first phase: 2012-2015)
URL of the practice: www.fondochile.cl6