KUALA LUMPUR: This is the time for the government, private sector and civil society organisations (CSOs) to step up and collaborate closely to eradicate hardcore poverty in Malaysia as the Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue, said Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Economy) Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed(pix).

In his keynote address at the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty (IDEP) 2021 Conference today, he stressed that apart from collaboration, speedy and effective implementation are also essential to combat the issue and achieve the goal by 2025, as committed in the 12th Malaysia Plan.

“A structured and coordinated framework for collaboration will ensure the effective deployment of resources by the government, the private sector, and CSOs. This will help reduce overlaps and redundancies, thus ensuring help is delivered to those most in need.

“We need to act with urgency to resolve the issue of poverty. In order to have a greater impact, we must work smartly and pool our resources together. Collaboration is key,“ he said.

Mustapa reiterated that the pandemic has resulted in Malaysia’s poverty rate spiking to 8.4 per cent in 2020 and around 20 per cent or 580,000 households in the M40 income group have regressed into the B40.

The IDEP 2021 Conference was organised by Yayasan Sejahtera in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the World Bank Group in commemorating IDEP which is observed globally on Oct 17 each year.

The conference today gathered 24 local and international speakers and over 100 participants who are policymakers, CSOs, private organisations, academia and youth.-Bernama