Switzerland participates in poverty conference
Switzerland has attended the International Conference on Poverty Reduction Strategies in Washington, which stressed the need for concrete results.
Delegates from industrialised and developing countries, as well as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), discussed the progress made on a poverty-fighting programme set up in 1999 by the IMF and the World Bank, called Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, or PRSP.
"The recommendation was that we have to come to the implementation phase of these strategies quickly," Hanspeter Wyss, a delegate of the Swiss Development Agency - which took part in the conference - told swissinfo. "All the actors involved agreed that we have to see results."
PRSPs are aimed at making poverty reduction a political and policy priority in poor countries. Their goal is to ease debts and provide access to cheaper credits.
The papers result from cooperation between governments with a high foreign debt and representatives of civil society and the private sector. These groups establish plans of action, which involve measures to reduce poverty and simultaneously promote economic growth.
Top Swiss politicians
The World Bank and the IMF are to write a report based on the four-day conference which ended Friday. The results will be discussed at their spring meeting.
Two Cabinet members, including the finance minister, Kaspar Villiger and the economics minister, Pascal Couchepin, will participate in the meeting, said Wyss. "Their recommendations will then be endorsed."
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