Can Big Business Eradicate Extreme Poverty

Who can deliver the Eradication of Extreme Poverty? Amongst the main players will be:

    Governments, including the G20
    the United Nations
    Big Business

But how will money-grabbing, blood-sucking, exploitative, evil fat-cat bully-bossing cigar-puffing big business be persuaded to help eradicate extreme poverty? Here are some ideas.

    Civil Society Pressure. Here is a paper by a group called Trade Justice Scotland – with some genuine influence and a lot of right ideas about how companies should set their priorities. Principles of Just Trade Deals
    Flagship Sustainability Programmes. Astrazeneca (where I used to work) had a lot of social responsibility programmes including supporting charities and promoting healthy lifestyles for young people etc.  Then they decided to consolidate into a single “Flagship Sustainability Programme”: Healthy Heart Africa.  At the same time Kellogg’s decided to consolidate their sustainability programmes into something called “Breakfasts for Better Days” and give away a billion breakfasts, mostly in the developing world.  “Flagship Sustainability” it seems is the order of the day.  Flagship programmes might form a meaningful part of the G20’s Sustainability Development Goals (SDG’s) which in theory are supposed to eradicate extreme poverty by 2030.  The United Nations Global Compact is the mechanism for marshalling big business into helping with the delivery of the SDG’s. See this link: UN Global Compact
    And finally: Indoces. My favourite is the Access to Medicines Index run at very little expense by the Access to Medicines Foundation. They publish indices of how well the pharmaceutical companies do at developing medicines which are relevant in the developing world, and making them available to the poor. As soon as the AMI existed Astrazeneca wanted to be on it, despite being quite low in the rankings at first; and having joined the index Astrazeneca is extremely keen to improve their ranking (as, presumably are the other pharmaceutical giants). This could be how medicines and health-care come available to the poorest people in the developing world. See Access to Medicines Foundation

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