The International Foundation for Population and Development (IFPD) is a Swiss Foundation, which was established in Lausanne in 1999. CUrrently based in Geneva, the IFPD is a not-for-profit, Non-Governmental Organisation that focuses on development by actively contributing to aid the elimination of poverty in developing states among the most vulnerable groups. The organisation seeks to promote gender equality and the empowerment of women and the youth. By taking on an integrated community rooted approach it aims to promote as well as support community based, integrated programmes and project activities that have been overlooked in developing communities. To do this IFPD sought to strengthen the capacities of the target groups and provide them sustainable means to free themselves from poverty.
Poverty is a multifaceted definition that is dependent on a variety of economic, social and political issues. The United Nations defines poverty as ‘the inability of getting choices and opportunities… [the] lack of basic capacity to participate effectively in society…not having enough to feed and clothe a family… [and to] go to school or clinic.”
Let us not be fatigued by hearing this continuous cry because the solution is in our hands. Our planet is currently home to over seven billion people and poverty affects every nation. It is not just the problem of the immediate victims but it nurtures generational gaps, economical damage, and destructive environmental change. In developing nations the percentage of absolute poverty is extremely high, affecting men, women and children. However, a brunt of poverty due to cultural and social reasons fall on women and children. Within families and communities in developing countries basic rights like education, healthcare and employment are denied to women. These practices ultimately breed a generation of subdued young girls with limited knowledge of their human rights and stagnate the community.
According to The World Bank Gender and Development Group Poverty Reduction and Economic Management Network research report by Andrew Morrison, Dhushyanth Raju and Nistha Sinha ‘Increases in female earnings can, on the one hand, reduce current poverty and stimulate short-term growth through higher consumption expenditures, and, on the other hand, reduce future poverty and stimulate long-term growth through higher savings.’ Results like these that come from empowering the women and youth of India and Nepal is why Organisations like IFPD are invaluable in the fight for equality and poverty elimination.
IFPD has elected to work predominantly in urban slums in India and Nepal. To achieve their objectives IFPD has a two-fold approach. Firstly, they raise awareness in Switzerland on the current situation of underprivileged communities in developing countries and on the internationally agreed developing agendas. Lastly, IFPD aims at the development and implementation of specific, community based, integrated development projects aimed at reducing poverty amongst the aforementioned vulnerable groups in the communities as well as promoting human rights especially when aimed at gender inequality. The Organisation follows the modifications and specifications of the International Conference on Population and Development and the Millennium Development Goals, adopted by the United Nations member states in 2000.
IFPD created a Youth Advisory Committee (YAC) in order to allow the youth a platform to give fresh takes on projects. The Organisation is utilizing young social entrepreneurs in designing its field projects as well as raising awareness among the youth in developed countries on issues related to developing states. The YAC is involved in enhancing social-entrepreneurship, identifying communities, developing integrated solutions, raising awareness on key issues at stake in developing countries and inspiring our youth to aid in the reduction of poverty.
Ours Magazine will be featuring IFPD in its upcoming Sexuality issue with an exclusive interview with Christine Magistretti, the head of the organisation.
To learn more about IFPD and the great work they do in developing states please visit their website: www.ifpd.org